Geneva – In a new statement released today, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor expressed deep concern over the fate of dozens of medical personnel and injured and sick people who have been trapped in the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in Gaza during the Israeli 46-day-long military operation.
The Euro-Med Monitor team reported that there has been no contact or communication with all those trapped in the Al-Shifa Medical Complex for the past 48 hours. One of the doctors confirmed, before contact with him was lost, that they were subjected to a rough investigation and interrogation that included harassment, ill-treatment, stressing that they were used by members of the Israeli army as human shields. The doctor further affirmed that the medical staff were subjected to individual interrogations for long hours amid widespread destruction and sabotage of all departments in the medical facility.
For the sixth day in a row, the Israeli army has persisted in its military assault on the Al-Shifa Medical Complex, trapping at least 259 injured and sick people in the facility along with 19 medical personnel amid a severe lack of water, electricity, and medical supplies. There are two patients in critical care, 22 patients receiving dialysis, 32 patients who require stretchers, and 27 patients with spinal injuries. It is important to note that Al-Shifa Hospital is no longer operating and does not accept new patients.
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor stressed that hospitals and other medical facilities and personnel may in no circumstances be attacked, but should be respected, protected, and never used to shield combatants or obtain any military objectives. It emphasised that any military operation within or surrounding hospitals must take crucial steps to spare and protect the patients, medical staff, and other civilians. All feasible precautions must be taken, including giving civilians effective warnings, as well as considering the ability—or lack thereof—of patients, medical staff, and other impacted civilians to evacuate safely.
The Geneva-based organisation called on the World Health Organisation and the International Committee of the Red Cross to send a representative committee to the Al-Shifa Medical Complex immediately, in order to inform the world about the horrific situation there, giving top priority to the safety of medical personnel and the injured.