The Palestinian Medical Relief Society condemns Tuesday’s attack against PMRS ambulance staff whilst they distributed first aid kits to residents of Rafah. Thanks to the generous support provided by the German Foreign Office and in cooperation with Medico International, in response to an emergency appeal released by PMRS following the Israeli demolition of 200 homes in Rafah in May 2004, PMRS has begun to distribute first aid kits to the homeless residents of Rafah.
Whilst ambulance staff, including 5 doctors, 2 nurses and the driver, distributed the first aid kits in the Tal al Sultan neighborhood, Israeli forces started firing at the ambulance. According to the staff, firing came from the “Rafih Yam” settlements towers. They at first thought that it was random shooting however; when some bullets were only 50 cm away they realized that this was in fact intentional. All staff were wearing PMRS vests which clearly indicated that they were medical personnel. Fortunately there were no injuries.
Once again the Israeli forces have attempted to prevent medical teams from carrying out their essential humanitarian work. This time, not content with causing the complete devastation that now exists in Rafah, the soldiers have also tried to stop the provision of aid to the area.
PMRS asks all humanitarian, human rights and health organizations to protest these recent actions and pressurize the Israeli occupation forces to allow the free movement of medical teams.