MAP calls for protection of civilians and healthcare amid increasing West Bank violence

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is gravely concerned by the increase in violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and reports that health workers have been prevented from reaching and treating some of the injured.

Palestinian lives and health have been put at risk amid armed raids by Israeli forces. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli forces have killed five Palestinians in the last 24 hours, including a 14-year-old boy.

These killings are taking place in the context of Israel’s continued systematic use of excessive force against Palestinian protesters this year. They also follow a series of armed attacks by Palestinians in Israeli cities since late March that have killed 14 people.

Israel has since increased the number of troops deployed in the West Bank and launched several raids on Jenin refugee camp. Two Palestinians were killed by live ammunition in Jenin on Thursday.

“Israel’s intensified raids, attacks and movement restrictions amount to the collective punishment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. This is one of the pillars of their system of discrimination and domination,” said Aisha Mansour, MAP’s West Bank Director. “We are in close contact with the Ministry of Health and the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and will be supporting them with any emerging needs.”

Several PRCS ambulances trying to reach, treat and transfer injured Palestinians to hospitals, have been delayed or prevented access to the wounded. In a statement published today, PRCS said: “Since the beginning of April, we have recorded five cases of denied access to treat the injured, as well as three cases of assault on our medical teams, and an attack on an ambulance.”

“Israel’s intensified raids, attacks and movement restrictions amount to the collective punishment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.” – Aisha Mansour. 

This recent violence also comes amid increasing attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. In November 2021, UN human rights experts raised the alarm, stating that: “Settler violence has always been an extremely disturbing feature of the Israeli occupation. But in 2021, we are witnessing the highest recorded levels of violence in recent years and more severe incidents.”

Last night, the PRCS declared a state of emergency in the occupied West Bank. MAP is monitoring the situation closely across the occupied Palestinian territory and is ready to respond should the situation deteriorate further.

MAP calls on the international community, including the UK government, to demand an immediate end to Israel’s excessive force against Palestinian civilians, and unimpeded access for health workers to the wounded.

We also call on states to strengthen the protection of medical personnel and facilities in the occupied Palestinian territory by promoting adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 2286 (2016), and supporting genuine investigations and accountability where violations have occurred, including through the recently-established UN Commission of Inquiry on the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.

Palestinians will continue to be denied equal rights to health and dignity until the systematic discrimination and fragmentation they face is finally brought to an end. Take action today by signing our campaign pledge.

Photo: Courtesy of the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

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