Subject: Urgent Report on Deliberate Targeting of Hospitals and Medical Personnel in Ongoing Genocidal Aggression on Gaza

Subject: Urgent Report on Deliberate Targeting of Hospitals and Medical Personnel in Ongoing Genocidal Aggression on Gaza

A humanitarian appealImportantMain

Date: 10 Nev, 2023

Subject: Urgent Report on Deliberate Targeting of Hospitals and Medical Personnel in Ongoing Genocidal Aggression on Gaza

Ladies and Gentlemen,

High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions, UN Secretary-General, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Physical and Mental Health, Members and President of the Human Rights Council, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, European Union, World Health Organization, Arab League, International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, Human Rights and Health NGOs, and Free People of the World,

The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd) conveys its greetings and the regards of civilian victims from the Palestinian people who have endured the consequences of the continuous Israeli aggression on Gaza for 34 days. We appreciate your commitment to intervening to ensure people worldwide exercise their right to the highest attainable standard of health, especially during armed conflicts. The right to health is fundamental and indispensable, and its deprivation leads to catastrophic consequences. Today, we address you to shed light on the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against hospitals, healthcare centers, and the intentional targeting of medical teams, paramedics, ambulances, and emergency stations. We outline the catastrophic challenges faced by Gaza’s health infrastructure, damaged by direct bombings and the daily threats of evacuation through relentless shelling.

As documented, Israeli forces have committed massacres against nearly 2,000 Palestinian families. The toll of the Israeli aggression stands at 1,700 martyrs and 25,956 injuries since its onset. Among the victims, 4,237 were children, 2,719 were women, and 631 were elderly individuals. Israeli forces persist in deliberately killing medical personnel, with the death toll reaching 192 healthcare professionals, while 40 ambulances were destroyed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Israeli forces executed over 229 attacks on Gaza’s hospitals since October 7th, resulting in the destruction of some facilities and the permanent closure of others. This includes the intentional targeting of 120 healthcare institutions, the evacuation of 18 hospitals, and the forced closure of 40 primary care centers due to continuous targeting, fuel shortages, and violent threats. The situation can be summarized as follows:

First: Direct Shelling of Hospitals

Israeli forces intentionally shelled Al-Muamalani Hospital on October 17, 2023, resulting in the martyrdom of 472 citizens, mostly children and women, and the injury of hundreds. The Israeli occupation further targeted hospital courtyards and evacuation convoys, leading to the killing of 23 civilians and the injury of 63 others.

Second: Threats of Evacuation and Closure

Ongoing threats and brutal shelling in the vicinity of hospitals caused severe damages, affecting Al-Quds Hospital, Al-Shifa Hospital, and the Indonesian Hospital. The Israeli occupation targeted hospital gates, forcing some to shut down completely or evacuate specific sections.

Shelling targeted Al-Shifa Hospital’s courtyard and the entrance of the pediatric Al-Nasr Hospital, causing numerous casualties.

On November 9, 2023, the courtyard of Al-Shifa Hospital was shelled with artillery, along with the gate of the Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital. The continuous targeting of hospitals resulted in evacuating 18 medical facilities.

Israeli forces persistently threaten the specialized Al-Rantisi Pediatric Hospital, demanding immediate evacuation, jeopardizing the lives of 15 critically ill children on life support, over 3,000 children with cancer, and 38 children in the only pediatric kidney dialysis department in Gaza. Additionally, the occupation poses a threat to 10 children on artificial respiration and 20 with various injuries, alongside hundreds of medical staff and approximately 6,000 displaced individuals.

The only Turkish Hospital providing treatment for around 10,000 cancer patients was targeted, leading to the destruction of its third floor and the hospital’s evacuation. Sixteen hospitals and 52 primary care centers have been forced out of service due to Israeli crimes.

Third: Blocking Fuel and Medical Supplies to Hospitals

Since the onset of the aggression, Israeli forces imposed collective punitive measures, cutting off electricity, water, fuel essential for powering hospitals, and ambulances. Medical teams face challenges in receiving essential supplies due to ongoing military operations, forcing medical procedures to be conducted on hospital premises, in corridors, and sometimes without anesthesia, using what is known as forensic medicine. This has led to service interruptions at Jerusalem Hospital, Al-Awda Hospital, and generator failures at Al-Shifa and Indonesian hospitals.

Fourth: Deliberate Targeting of Medical Crews

As of the date of this memorandum, the military operation by Israeli forces in Gaza has resulted in the martyrdom of over 192 healthcare workers actively engaged in their duties. Medical teams operate in unsafe conditions, under extreme fatigue, and direct or indirect threats. This disastrous situation hampers the provision of healthcare services to war victims and the general population, hindering citizens from enjoying their internationally guaranteed right to the highest attainable standard of health. Urgent international collaboration is needed to halt these serious violations, classified as war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Medical teams work under unsafe conditions, severe fatigue, and the constant threat of direct and indirect targeting. This catastrophic situation significantly affects the quality of healthcare provided to war victims and the general population. We urgently call for international solidarity to end the aggression on Gaza and stop Israeli crimes against medical crews, paramedics, ambulances, rescue teams, and hospitals. This is crucial to prevent a healthcare crisis in Gaza, allow the continuation of medical services, and prevent the collapse of hospitals.

We urge you to take specific measures immediately to:

  1. End the aggression on Gaza.
  2. Halt Israeli crimes against medical crews, paramedics, ambulances, rescue teams, and hospitals.
  3. Open crossings for the movement of patients and ensure the passage of medical teams, fuel, drugs, and medical supplies.
  4. Stop the collapse of hospitals by pressuring Israeli authorities to cease ongoing violations against the healthcare infrastructure.

We call on the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization to protect hospitals, medical crews, and paramedics by maintaining a permanent presence, coordinating and accompanying ambulance convoys for evacuating martyrs and the injured, and ensuring the passage of medical teams, fuel, drugs, and medical supplies. This aligns with international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, human rights treaties, and established practices emphasizing the protection of healthcare infrastructure and enabling them to perform their life-saving functions.

Your swift action is imperative; tomorrow may be too late. Let us consider the fate awaiting a patient or an injured person in need of unavailable medical care. It is a tragic and harsh human scene just to contemplate these questions. We, along with medical teams, civilians, and victims, look to your immediate and effective efforts, in line with your legal and ethical responsibilities, to stop the aggression, protect civilians, and safeguard civilian healthcare facilities.

With sincere respect and appreciation,

The International Commission to Support Palestinians Rights (Hashd)



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