One thousand days of violence have killed just over 3,000 people (2,398 Palestinians and 704 Israelis) and left 28,000 injured (23,150 Palestinians and 4,849 Israelis) in Israel and the Palestinian Autonomous and Occupied Territories. This is the human toll since the second Intifada started on September 29, 2000, according to figures from the Palestine Red Crescent (PRCS) and Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s equivalent of a Red Cross or Red Crescent Society.
Chaim Rafalowski, Director of MDA’s Emergency Department, said morale among workers remained high because they knew they made the difference between life and death: “It is a horrible routine, but it is a routine. If we are not there, no one else will do it.” It is a similar story among PRCS emergency medical teams.
“The acceleration of the violence doesn’t matter. Morale remains unbelievable,” comments Hassan Basharat, coordinator of the PRCS Disaster Management and Coordination Unit. He says the main problem for PRCS ambulance crews are Israeli armed forces checkpoints and restriction or denial of access to areas where people have been injured.
To ensure quicker access to medical care, it has deployed medical teams in 124 villages within reach of PRCS branches in the West Bank. Currently, the PRCS receives, on average, 640 emergency calls a day, in the West Bank and Gaza.