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Human Rights Violations During Israel's Attack on the Gaza Strip: December 2008 - January 2009 Dr. Ruchama Marton Founder & President, PHR-IL APHA 137.

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Presentation on theme: "Human Rights Violations During Israel's Attack on the Gaza Strip: December 2008 - January 2009 Dr. Ruchama Marton Founder & President, PHR-IL APHA 137."— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Rights Violations During Israel's Attack on the Gaza Strip: December January 2009 Dr. Ruchama Marton Founder & President, PHR-IL APHA 137 th Annual Meeting November 10, 2009 Philadelphia, PA

2 The Attack on Gaza

3 Types of Injuries: Maiming and Amputations 150 amputees were referred from Gaza to Egyptian hospitals. 150 amputees were referred from Gaza to Egyptian hospitals. At least 165 newly disabled patients, at least 90 with amputations, were injured in North Gaza and could not be referred to treatment due to Israel ’ s policy. At least 165 newly disabled patients, at least 90 with amputations, were injured in North Gaza and could not be referred to treatment due to Israel ’ s policy. The reason: the use of anti-personnel weapons. The reason: the use of anti-personnel weapons. The use of drones (unmanned aircraft) was associated with injuries causing amputations. The use of drones (unmanned aircraft) was associated with injuries causing amputations.

4 Weapons – “ Disc bomb ” White Phosphorus

5 Source: Fact-Finding Mission to Gaza, 2009

6 Attacks on Civilians Al-Banna family (January 12, 2009): 3 sisters are hit by a tank on the balcony 3 sisters are hit by a tank on the balcony of their apartment in Jibalia, Gaza City of their apartment in Jibalia, Gaza City 2 sisters are killed and the third, 2 sisters are killed and the third, Do ’ a, is seriously injured Do ’ a, is seriously injured Brother and friend go to the rescue: Brother and friend go to the rescue: a second explosion kills the friend a second explosion kills the friend and injures the brother, Eyad and injures the brother, Eyad Ambulance comes to evacuate: Ambulance comes to evacuate: a third explosion kills two of a third explosion kills two of the paramedics the paramedics

7 Bleeding to Death Only 1km Away from a Hospital The Shurrab family leaves home at 12:00 during the “ humanitarian ceasefire. ” The Shurrab family leaves home at 12:00 during the “ humanitarian ceasefire. ” Two Israeli tanks allow them to proceed. Two Israeli tanks allow them to proceed. After about 200m, the car gets hit by gunfire. After about 200m, the car gets hit by gunfire. Muhammad is hit in his upper left arm. Muhammad is hit in his upper left arm. The windshield of the car is hit by 22 bullets. The windshield of the car is hit by 22 bullets. Father lose control and stop the car at Father lose control and stop the car at the side of the street. (photo 2/2/09)

8 Shurrab family, continue Soldiers in a house about 40m in front of them order them to leave the car. Qassab leaveIbrahim s car and is shot and killed. leaves car and is hit in the leg. Soldiers in a house about 40m in front of them order them to leave the car. Qassab leaveIbrahim s car and is shot and killed. leaves car and is hit in the leg. Using a mobile phone, Ibrahim tries to call an ambulance. Soldiers threaten to kill him and order him to throw away phone. Muhammad crawls to Ibrahim and manages to call ambulance. Using a mobile phone, Ibrahim tries to call an ambulance. Soldiers threaten to kill him and order him to throw away phone. Muhammad crawls to Ibrahim and manages to call ambulance. Lying on the road with his sons father calls PHR- Israel, media, ambulance services. All try to coordinate evacuation to no avail. After about 11 hours, Ibrahim dies (24:30). Muhammad waits by the bodies of his sons all night. Lying on the road with his sons father calls PHR- Israel, media, ambulance services. All try to coordinate evacuation to no avail. After about 11 hours, Ibrahim dies (24:30). Muhammad waits by the bodies of his sons all night. An ambulance is finally coordinated by ICRC via the Israeli army at 11am the next day. An ambulance is finally coordinated by ICRC via the Israeli army at 11am the next day. 23 hours pass from the shooting moment to the evacuation.

9 Healthcare under Attack Targeting medical personnel Targeting medical personnel Emergency medical evacuation denied Emergency medical evacuation denied Medical system Medical system stretched to stretched to breaking point breaking point Referrals to care Referrals to care outside Gaza outside Gaza prevented prevented

10 Total Attacks on Medical Personnel and Facilities 16 health care staff killed on duty; 22 injured 16 health care staff killed on duty; 22 injured 52 health facilities damaged or destroyed 52 health facilities damaged or destroyed 29 ambulances damaged or destroyed 29 ambulances damaged or destroyed

11 Patterns Policy level: collective punishment by massive destruction and lethal attacks in civilian areas Policy level: collective punishment by massive destruction and lethal attacks in civilian areas Individual level: forces on the ground targeted civilians and denied them evacuation Individual level: forces on the ground targeted civilians and denied them evacuation

12 Conclusions and Recommendations Need for accountability mechanisms, adoption of independent investigations (e.g., the Goldstone Committee). Need for accountability mechanisms, adoption of independent investigations (e.g., the Goldstone Committee). Opening of the Crossings (Erez & Rafah). Opening of the Crossings (Erez & Rafah). Rehabilitation of infrastructure and of patients. Rehabilitation of infrastructure and of patients. As occupying power, the Government of Israel is responsible for any medical care not available in Gaza and for providing medical care equal to the Israeli standard. As occupying power, the Government of Israel is responsible for any medical care not available in Gaza and for providing medical care equal to the Israeli standard.


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