PHM Palestine: The Health Work Committees calls for the protection of workers in the health and humanitarian sector due to the systematic Israeli targeting of their rights

The Health Work Committees denounces the international human rights and humanitarian silence towards the continuation of the Israeli occupation in targeting health and humanitarian staff in occupied Palestine, the last of which was the killing of the volunteer medic Abdullah Al-Qatti, 20 years, east of Rafah, bringing the number of paramedic martyrs since the start of the march to three martyrs. On June 1st, the volunteer paramedic Razan Ashraf al-Najjar, 21, and on May 13th Musa Abu Jaber Hassanein, 36, were killed by the Israeli occupation forces while carrying out their humanitarian duty to save lives.

HWC believes that the occupation and its continued indiscriminate killing of citizens, including paramedics, is intensified as a result of the international silence towards these crimes and the full coverage of the occupation leaders for the soldiers in the field. The killing of paramedics and the targeting of health staff and ambulances constitutes a serious violation of international laws, and are considered extreme physical violations and war crimes in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the obligations applicable under the Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005 to those Conventions with regard to the protection of civilians, health workers and humanitarian workers.

HWC demands urgent and immediate intervention by the international community and humanitarian organizations to protect civilians including health and humanitarian workers. They also call for immediate intervention to pressure the Israeli government to lift the 12-year siege on the Gaza Strip, which is causing a humanitarian and health crisis, along with the high rate of unemployment as well as the acute shortage of medical supplies, treatment and rehabilitation. HWC calls on international organizations and United Nations bodies to work on an independent investigation into the violations of human rights in the Gaza Strip and to hold the occupying state accountable for these violations.

It also stresses the need for urgent and rapid intervention to stop the massacre of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza, which is carried out in full view of the world, and resulted since the start of the March of return of more than 170 martyrs, including 3 paramedics and about 18 thousand injuries and gas inhalation, including 370 injured paramedics and damaged 70 ambulances as well as targeting medical points on the wire between the Gaza Strip and the 1948 occupied territories.

The Israeli Offence Forces continue their systematic and severe violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) for the 20th week of peaceful civil demonstrations in the eastern and northern areas of the Gaza Strip. IOF continues to use deadly forces against Palestinian civilians participating in the peaceful marches to break the siege on the Gaza Strip four months ago. Thousands of civilians were killed and wounded, In the West Bank, the Israeli occupation forces occupied land to serve their settlement projects, Judaize Jerusalem, arbitrarily arrest and prosecute farmers. These violations are organized in the shadow of the silence of the international community, with its army dealt with as a state above the law.