Geneva – The Israeli authorities are committing blatant violations of human rights and human rights law, including the relentless assault of both patients and medical staff, warns Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.
Israeli soldiers have repeatedly broken into the al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem in less than a week, intimidating patients and other civilians inside the hospital.
Shocking videos and pictures – some of which were published on social media sites – show the Israeli forces on July 21, 2017 ruthlessly breaking into the al-Makassed hospital and beating the people inside, including those present for blood transfer, a Euro-Med team member said.
The video shows “border guards” and police throwing gas and sound bombs on the building of the hospital, which constitutes a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention that affords the wounded and the sick special protection and respect.
The director of the al-Makassed Hospital stated that, “a large number of casualties were unable to reach the hospital because it was surrounded by hundreds of Israeli border guards and police.”
“What happened at the al-Makassed Hospital reflects an ongoing Israeli policy of terrorizing civilians, which is contrary to human rights,” said Sandra Owen, Euro-Med spokeswoman.
The incident comes 3 days after the previous assault on the hospital which occurred on 18 July, where the Israeli forces surrounded the intensive care unit in the al-Makassed Hospital. Among the patients was a boy named Alaa Abu Tayeh. According to his family, the Israeli soldiers prevented them from visiting him.
Abu Tayeh was seriously wounded by live bullets during clashes with the Israeli forces in the town of “Silwan,” south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The practices of the Israeli authorities in the Palestinian territories constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, in particular Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states that, “civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the parties to the conflict.”
The Israeli authorities bear the legal and moral responsibility for the violations committed against Palestinian civilian hospitals. In addition, Israeli's failure to conduct an urgent investigation into the violations of their soldiers permits them to further incursions without any deterrent, stressed Ramy Abdu, Euro-Med Chair.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls all states involved in the Geneva Conventions to hold Israel accountable, to activate the universal litigation to hold perpetrators for trial and to ensure that Israel respects the rights of civilians.