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Health Minister Denies Red Crescents Alleged Abandonment of Wounded Settlers.

RAMALLAH, November 16, 2015 (WAFA) Health Minister Jawad Awad Monday refuted Israeli allegations that Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics abandoned three days earlier wounded Israeli settlers to the south of Hebron.

Speaking during a press conference, Awad denied Israeli allegations that the Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics didnt stop to provide medical treatment for the Israeli settler family who came under fire as they were driving through the southern Hebron hills near As-Samou town on Friday.

Two settlers were killed and another was injured in the shooting. The two casualties were a father in his 40s and his son, 18, who were in the car with five other family members.

Israeli media said a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance allegedly passed by the site of the shooting attack on Friday and abandoned the wounded settlers as they laid dying and didnt approach the scene to provide medical treatment.

Despite Israeli occupation forces violations against Palestinian medical facilities, paramedics and ambulances and despite threats they have faced, PRCS have been working under serious conditions to save the lives of the injured regardless of their nationality and religion, stated Awad.

Awad slammed these Israeli allegations as intended to undermine the credibility of Palestinian paramedics and as a desperate attempt to divert world attention from Israeli crimes against medical staff, most recently the killing of Abdullah Azzam Shalalda, 27, and kidnapping his cousin, Azzam, 22, who was receiving medical treatment at al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron.

Seeking to save the lives of the wounded people impartially and neutrally, PRCS paramedics have provided medical treatment for many wounded Israeli settlers and even soldiers in car accidents, Awad added.

Citing Health Ministry statistics, Awad said two Palestinians shot by Israeli forces in October succumbed to their injuries after Palestinian paramedics were prevented from approaching them and that over 300 attacks against Palestinian paramedics were recorded over October, including preventing ambulances from approaching Palestinians shot by Israeli forces following alleged stabbing attacks or attempts and opening fire directly at ambulances.

This came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly ordered the Foreign Ministry to lodge a stern complaint with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, demanding an explanation as to why the Palestinian ambulance allegedly abandoned wounded settler family.

Israeli media quoted an Israeli Foreign Ministry source as threatening that Israel will enact all necessary sanctions against the Red Crescent.

If things are indeed as they seem to me today, the State of Israel will take appropriate steps against the Red Crescent, Netanyahu reportedly said.

Furthermore, Israeli Prime Ministers Arab media spokesperson Ofir Gendelman posted a claim on his Twitter account accusing Palestinian paramedics of refusing to treat the victims.

However in a press statement issued late Friday, PRCS categorically denied allegations that its paramedics did not stop to assist the wounded settler family.

The facts are as follows: a PRCS team arrived at the scene and started providing First Aid to the wounded. A few minutes later, two Israeli ambulances, one belonging to the Israeli army and another from Magen David Adom, arrived at the scene.'

'The ambulances teams headed towards the wounded persons, brandishing their weapons. Given that Israeli paramedics had arrived and were providing medical care to casualties, PRCS team left the scene which they felt had become unsafe, stated PRCS.

Highlighting Israeli forces attacks against Palestinian paramedics, PRCS noted that since early October, Israeli occupation forces have assaulted and directly targeted PRCS teams, either by firing bullets and canisters at them, or by beating them, or by pepper spraying them.

A total of 125 PRCS emergency medical technicians have been wounded and 67 ambulances damaged as a result of these systematic practices which go against IHL provisions.

Moreover, Israeli occupation forces have prevented PRCS teams on 66 different occasions from reaching Palestinian sick and wounded persons to provide them with medical life-saving treatment.

The humanitarian principles and values and professionalism of PRCS teams are indisputable. PRCS has over the years provided First Aid to hundreds of Israelis present in the oPt, as was the case mid-October when its teams provided an Israeli citizen with medical assistance near Josephs Tomb in Nablus, added PRCS.

PRCS discharges its mission in line with the lofty principles and values it believes in. The Society believes that medical assistance should be provided to all those in need regardless of their nationality, race or religion.

'Israel, on the contrary, leaves Palestinians, including children, to bleed and prevents help and medical teams from reaching them, as can be seen in a number of footage videos.


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Publication:Palestine News Agency (WAFA) (Gaza, Palestine)
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Nov 16, 2015
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