NABLUS — On 11 January 2004, a PRCS medic was beaten, detained and threatened with fatal harm by Israeli soldiers during a routine transfer of patients from Nablus to Ramallah Hospital. The ambulance was carrying a child with a cardiac condition and a disabled person suffering from leg injuries.
According to the medics’ affidavit, the ambulance was allowed to cross the Howwara checkpoint (Nablus). However, Israeli soldiers at a flying checkpoint on the Al-Sawia road stopped the ambulance. There, soldiers searched the ambulance and checked the crew’s and patient’s IDs and then refused to allow the ambulance to pass. One half hour later, the ambulance was allowed to pass after coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
At another flying checkpoint on road number 90 near AinYabrood village (Ramallah), Israeli soldiers stopped the ambulance again. Israeli soldiers checked IDs and searched the ambulance for the third time. One of the soldiers ordered one of the medics to get out of the ambulance, and as he did, the soldier pushed him against the ambulance. When the medic asked the soldier why he pushed him, the soldier began hitting the medic on the face and back. The medic then tried to defend himself by taking a hold of the soldier’s hands, but four more soldiers including the head officer continued to beat the medic. The medic was then thrown to the ground and hands tied behind his back. At that point, the ambulance driver tried to assist his colleague, but he too was beaten and ordered to leave the area or else he would be shot. The soldiers continued to attack the medic for another half hour while his hands were still tied behind his back. He was then blind folded and taken to Ofra Military Detention Camp. There, the soldiers continued to beat and verbally abuse the medic until he was finally released from the detention camp one hour later.
This incident constitutes a breach of articles 19, 24 and 26 of the First Geneva Convention, which guarantees the protection of medical units, establishments and personnel.