On Monday, 10 June 2019, an ambulance officer succumbed to wounds he sustained while on duty to rescue and evacuate those wounded in the March of Return and Breaking Siege. Thus, the number of medical personnel causalities has risen to 4 killed and 203 injured since the beginning of the Return March in the Gaza Strip on 29 March 2018.
According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human rights (PCHR), at approximately 13:00 on Monday, 10 June 2019, Palestinian medical sources announced the death of ambulance officer, Mohammed Sobhi Salamah al-Judaili (36), from al-Buraij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, succumbing to wounds he sustained at approximately 18:10 on Friday, 03 May 2019. Al-Jadili was hit with a rubber bullet to the nose, causing fractures to the nose and skull, while on duty within the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) team, east of Abu Safiyah Hill in the northern Gaza Strip. Mohammed attempted to offer first aid to 3 wounded civilians while being around 200 meters away from the border fence. According to the testimony of his colleague, (Y. A), he and Mohammed, who were around 200 meters away from the border fence, were offering first aid to the wounded civilians and evacuating them to medical centers when Israeli forces opened fire at them, causing Mohammed’s injury. Mohammed was taken to al-Shifa Hospital and then transferred to al-Quds Hospital in Tal al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City, where he stayed for 3 weeks. On Sunday, 02 June 2019, Mohammed suffered seizures and fainted, and then his heart suddenly stopped. As a result, he was taken to al-Aqsa Hospital in the central Gaza Strip where he stayed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). On Tuesday, 04 June 2019, he was transferred to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron by an ICU ambulance. Doctors attempted to save his live, but in vain, because he was clinically dead. Doctors decided to return him to the Gaza Strip, and he succumbed to his wounds on the same day evening.
It should be noted that the Israeli forces continue to target medical personnel, centers and transports along the Gaza Strip borders while on duty to rescue and evacuate those wounded in the demonstrations. The Israeli forces also used excessive and lethal force against them without posing any danger to the soldiers’ life.
PCHR condemns the ongoing Israeli attacks on medical personnel, who are responsible for rescuing and treating the wounded participating in the Return March in the eastern Gaza Strip borders. Thus, PCHR:
- Demands the international community to take immediate action and put pressure on Israel to stop its grave violations against Palestinian civilians, including medical personnel in the Gaza Strip, who are protected under the rules of international humanitarian law;
- Calls upon the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to intervene and provide protection for medical personnel in the Gaza Strip;
- Stresses that Israel shall be held accountable and prosecuted by investigating with it into these crimes committed against Palestinian civilians participating in the Return March in addition to the ongoing attacks against medical personnel; and
- Calls upon the Prosecutor of International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an official investigation into these crimes, and to pursue and hold accountable those involved in ordering and carrying out these crimes.