New MAP film from Gaza: health workers under attack

Last Friday, one Palestinian protester was killed and more than 900 injured, many of them severely, after the use of live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas by Israeli forces targeting protesters in Gaza.

Since the mass peaceful demonstrations began on 30 March, 28 protesters have been killed and over 4,000 injured. According to the Ministry of Health, 67% of injured protesters were admitted to hospitals. Already struggling under a decade of blockade and closure, with longstanding shortages of medical supplies, electricity and fuel, Gaza’s hospitals have been overwhelmed by the mass casualties. The remaining 33% of casualties received medical care at the primary healthcare facilities and medical points- where medics have come under fire.

In Gaza at least 41 health workers have been injured and 13 ambulances damaged since the start of the ‘Great March of Return’ protests.

Last Friday, 13 April, a Palestine Red Crescent Society medic in Rafah was shot in the knee with live ammunition, and a further 10 paramedics had to evacuate their medical point near Khan Younis after inhaling tear gas.

Medical facilities and staff are afforded protected status under international law. Any violation of this tenet must be credibly investigated, and those responsible held accountable. But impunity reigns.

No one has been held to account for the latest attacks on protected medical workers nor multiple previous attacks on healthcare in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).  During Israel’s 2014 military offensive on Gaza alone, 73 hospitals and clinics were damaged or destroyed. To date, Israel has failed to establish or facilitate credible investigations into these incidents. Impunity makes recurrence more likely.

Concerned by this trend of eroding protection of Palestinian healthcare, MAP is calling for the UK Government to reiterate its commitment and respect for the protection of medical workers and facilities as enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 2286, and to support international efforts to promote impartial investigations into, and accountability for, violations of international law in the oPt.

You can read more about this issue in Chapter 2 of our Health Under Occupation series, ‘Protection For Healthcare’. You can also take action to support our call for accountability for violence against Gaza protesters by emailing your MP today.

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