Palestinian Medical Personnel Between Fire and their Duty to Remove the Wounded and Sick The Third Report on Israeli Attacks against Palestinian Medical Personnel


1 September 2002 – 31 December 2004


This report documents grave breaches, including war crimes, of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949 (the Fourth Geneva Convention) and Additional  Protocols of 1977 perpetrated by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) against medical personnel operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) between 1 September 2002 and 31 December 2004.[1]

 During the reported period, IOF continued to attack Palestinian medical crews and facilities in the OPT, causing disastrous impacts on health conditions of the Palestinian civilian population, who are protected under the Fourth Geneva Convention.[2]  These attacks occurred within the wider context of human rights violations perpetrated by IOF against Palestinian civilians in the OPT, including wilful and extra-judicial executions, destruction of civilian property and depriving people of their means of subsistence.

During the reported period, IOF killed 4 Palestinian medical personnel and wounded more than 200 others.  Thus, the number of Palestinian medical personnel killed by IOF since the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada has mounted to 19 and the number of wounded medical staff has escalated to at least 450.[3] 

In addition, 38 Palestinian ambulances have been destroyed and 132 medical vehicles have been severely damaged by IOF.  IOF also continue to deny access of Palestinians to medical care, predominantly by restricting the movement of ambulances through checkpoints.  Under the current total siege of the OPT, 65 Palestinian civilians have died at Israeli military checkpoints, as IOF prevented their evacuation to hospitals.

Since the beginning of the current Intifada, 3,214 Palestinians, including 618 children, have been killed and at least 40,000 others have been wounded by IOF.  Hundreds have been left permanently disabled.  Palestinian medical personnel have offered the wounded medical services.  The large numbers of casualties clearly indicate that Palestinian medical personnel have carried out work that exceeds the resources available to them.



The full report is available PDF format.