A report released by Reliefweb International condemned the Israeli attack Tuesday in which four emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and one journalist were injured, and two ambulances were damaged, when Israeli artillery fired a tank round at a group of ambulances that were arriving to transport injuries and fatalities during the clashes that erupted in the north part of the Gaza Strip.
According to the Reliefweb report, the tank round detonated near by the ambulances, 3 Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) EMTs, 1 EMT working for Al Awda hospital, and one journalist were injured. In addition, two of the PRCS ambulances received damage.
Reliefweb and other groups have condemned the attack, saying these practices constitute a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva Conventions, which are legally applied to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In particular, they violate articles 20 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which guarantees the protection and respect of persons who engage in the search for, removal and transport of and caring for wounded and sick civilians, and article 63 which stresses that " Subject to temporary and exceptional measures imposed for urgent reasons of security by the Occupied Power, recognized National red cross and red crescent societies shall be able to pursue their activities in accordance with Red Cross principles, as defined by the international Red Cross Conferences…". In addition to articles 12 and 15 of the First Additional Protocol of the Geneva conventions which guarantees that " Medical units shall be respected and protected at all times and shall not be the object of attack and shall have access to any place where their services are essential" and article 16 which stresses that, "Under no circumstances shall any person be punished for carrying out medical activities compatible with medical ethics, regardless of the person benefiting there from.", in addition to article 21, which stresses that," Medical vehicles shall be respected and protected in the same way as mobile medical units under the Conventions and this Protocol."
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has issued a condemnation of the attack on their emergency workers, appealing to the international community, and particularly to states party to the Geneva Conventions, to call upon Israel to respect International Humanitarian Law and to immediately stop its unjustified use of violence against civilians, especially emergency workers and journalists, and to respect and protect the humanitarian mission of the emergency medical services teams.