MAP calls for protection of health workers and civilians amid latest wave of Israeli military and settler violence

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is calling for action to urgently protect healthcare workers and civilians as Israeli military and settler violence continues to spiral in the occupied West Bank.

On Monday 19 June, the Israeli military launched its latest deadly incursion into the city of Jenin. Seven Palestinians were killed and more than 90 others injured. Among those killed were two children: Ahmad Saqer, 14, and Sadeel Ghassan Naghniyeh Turkman, 15, who died from her wounds on 21 June after being shot in the head by Israeli forces. At least 50 of the injured in Jenin were shot with live ammunition, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Seven Israeli soldiers were reported wounded during the incursion and an armoured jeep was significantly damaged by an improvised explosive device (IED). For the first time in more than 20 years, an Israeli military helicopter gunship fired missiles on Jenin.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported that Israeli forces shot and damaged two of its ambulances with live ammunition, one of which was taken out of service due to the severity of the damage. The Israeli military also delayed PRCS medical teams from reaching and treating the injured, and paramedics reportedly also came under fire.

On Tuesday 20 June, four Israeli settlers were killed by armed Palestinians near the settlement of Eli in the northern West Bank. One of the gunmen was shot dead at the scene and Israeli forces later killed the second suspect near Nablus after he fled in a taxi.

The killings prompted another rampage of settler violence across the northern West Bank, including the towns of Turmusaya, Burin, Huwara, Beit Furik, and Luban a-Sharqiya. One Palestinian man was shot dead with live ammunition in Turmusaya, and at least 34 others were injured. Homes, shops, vehicles and farmlands were set on fire, and tear gas canisters reportedly fired at homes by Israeli forces that did not act to stop the attacks. A PRCS ambulance caught fire and was severely damaged after being directly targeted with a tear gas canister in the town of Huwara.

In a new escalation of attacks on the West Bank, late on Wednesday 21 June, an Israeli military drone hit a vehicle in Jenin and killed three Palestinians. According to the Wafa News Agency, this was the first such attack in the West Bank since the Second Intifada in 2005.

“These terrifying mass invasions of Palestinian towns by Israeli settlers, who live illegally in the West Bank and act with impunity while burning cars and houses, and assaulting Palestinians, have become a distressingly regular occurrence,” said Aseel Baidoun, MAP’s Advocacy and Campaigns Manager in the West Bank.

“Not only does the Israeli military do nothing to prevent these attacks, it actively blocks or even assaults the brave paramedics who seek to come to the aid of the injured. If health workers aren’t safe in the West Bank, who is? Whether soldier or settler, all should be accountable to international law.”

“These terrifying mass invasions of Palestinian towns by Israeli settlers, who live illegally in the West Bank and act with impunity while burning cars and houses, and assaulting Palestinians, have become a distressingly regular occurrence.” – Aseel Baidoun.

So far in 2023, 143 Palestinians, including 22 children, have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Thirty-five Palestinians have also been killed in Gaza. This year is therefore set to soon surpass last year as the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the UN began recording data in 2005.

In a startling development, the PRCS has begun to provide its teams with bulletproof vests and helmets following incidents of direct targeting with live ammunition and other weapons. MAP’s team in the West Bank have also heard requests from our partner, the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), for similar protective equipment for their emergency first responders.

Health services in the West Bank continue to be overwhelmed as they try to respond to pervasive and growing violence against Palestinians. MAP is supporting the health system cope with the influx of injuries by:

  • Providing essential medicines and supplies to the emergency rooms of Makassed and Rafidia Hospitals, and urgent care centres in Nil’in, Silwad, Beita and Bidya.
  • Supplying first aid kits to first responders and volunteers.
  • Delivering trauma care training to medical staff and paramedics in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
  • Providing ongoing essential primary healthcare services to communities threatened by demolitions and settler violence in Area C of the West Bank through mobile clinics.

We are also continuing to advocate and campaign in the UK and internationally for action to urgently protect Palestinian civilians and healthcare personnel, and to support genuine investigations, and legal accountability for serious violations of international law which undermine Palestinian health and dignity.

Please email your MP and ask them to demand that the UK government acts urgently to end violence against Palestinians and healthcare in the West Bank.

Email your MP

Photo: A Palestinian is transported to Ibn Sina Hospital after being injured during an Israeli military raid on Jenin, 19 June 2023. (Credit: Ayman Nobani).

Stay updated – join our mailing list

* indicates required
Your Interests