Factsheet – Health in Palestine

Protection of Medical Personnel & Vehicles: Fourth Geneva Convention, Additional Protocol 1, 1977

ARTICLE 15: 1. Civilian medical personnel shall be respected and protected… 3. The Occupying Power shall afford civilian medical personnel in occupied territories every assistance to enable them to perform, to the best of their ability, their humanitarian functions…

ARTICLE 21: Medical vehicles shall be respected and protected in the same way as mobile medical units under the Conventions and this Protocol.

Protection of hospitals: Fourth Geneva Convention, 1949

ARTICLE 18: Civilian hospitals organized to give care to the wounded and sick, the infirm and maternity cases, may in no circumstances be the object of attack, but shall at all times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.


The paramedics got out of the ambulances carrying the stretchers from the back of my ambulance… When [they] reached the place of casualties, an Israeli warplane attacked them with another missile. … I then heard a third missile while I was driving fast till I reached the hospital. … The dead paramedic, Ra’fat Abdul Aal, the child and other dead people remained in the place and our paramedics did not mange to evacuate them…”

– testimony of paramedic Yahia Hassan, Targeted Civilians: A PCHR Report on the Israeli Military Offensive against the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008-18 January 2009), Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, pp.81-82, October 2009; http://www.pchrgaza.org

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