Thursday, January 10, 2008

Israeli Army ... Lays Siege to Hebron Hospital

Reprinted from Christian Peacemaker Teams with permission


Hebron: Israeli army, in search of injured gunmen, lays siege to Hebron hospital

30 December, 2007

In a shooting incident near Hebron on the afternoon of Friday 28 December, two Palestinian gunmen and two armed off-duty Israeli soldiers were killed in a gun battle. The shooting took place in an area under Palestinian control, near the village of Beit Kahil. The two Israelis soldiers lived in Kiryat Arba, the Israeli settlement on the outskirts of Hebron. Local media outlets reported that one or two injured Palestinians escaped.

At around 7:00 p.m. that evening Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron received a telephone call informing them that the Israeli military, searching for the injured Palestinians, were occupying the al-Ahli hospital in the H1 area of Hebron – the area officially under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The caller, a senior nurse at the hospital, told CPT that the military was searching the hospital and preventing patients or visitors from entering or leaving the hospital.

When CPTers arrived in the area at around 8:00 p.m., the Israeli military prevented them from reaching the hospital. Shortly after 8:15 p.m. the CPTers witnessed a large military convoy leaving the hospital grounds. They counted at least six armoured personnel carriers and 10 military jeeps, leaving the hospital grounds.

The CPTers then made their way to the hospital. Hospital personnel told them that during the blockade the Israeli military refused entry to the hospital to a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance transporting a patient. Israeli soldiers also threatened human rights workers who tried to facilitate entry to the hospital for the patient. Hospital staff reported that no equipment had been damaged and that no-one had been injured, but that the hospitals ability to function had been severely impaired during the two hour siege. Patients and visitors reported that the Israeli military had taken their IDs and not returned them. The Israeli military did not find any wounded Palestinians at the hospital

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