The medical mission must be respected and protected
06-11-2003 News Release
Jerusalem (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is increasingly concerned about repeated incidents in the Occupied and Autonomous Territories that demonstrate a lack of respect for the medical mission.
According to International Humanitarian Law, the medical mission benefits from special protection. Wounded and sick people as well as medical facilities, vehicles and personnel must not be attacked but respected and protected at all times.
It is prohibited to use civilian hospitals and medical vehicles for the conduct of hostilities. The misuse of hospitals or medical vehicles as a shelter or as a place from which to launch an attack puts the wounded and sick as well as medical staff at risk. It also disrupts the proper functioning of medical services for the civilian population.
Search and arrest operations in medical facilities must be carried out in a manner compatible with the protection due to the medical mission and patients, and take into due consideration the medical condition of the arrested person.
Both ambulances and individual members of medical staff must be respected, and allowed to move unharmed and with minimum delays, so that they can carry out their humanitarian duties.
The ICRC reiterates its call to all those involved in the current violence to respect and ensure respect for the wounded and sick, as well as for medical personnel, facilities and vehicles.
The ICRC remains committed to working in close cooperation with the Magen David Adom and the Palestine Red Crescent Society, in particular by supporting their emergency medical services and other life-saving activities.
For further information, please contact:
Vincent Bernard, ICRC Jerusalem, tel. ++972 (0)57 735 235