Palestinian Medics Struggle to Save Civilians in Israeli Attacks

It is not easy for the Palestinian medical team to carry out their duties in providing medical care for injured Palestinians. They are often prevented from entering the area and even targeted by the attacks.

a Palestinian ambulance
Gunshots from the Israeli armed forces on a Palestinian ambulance. (Al Jazeera)

ACTNews, WEST BANK – The Palestinian medics always try to be at the forefront to save the lives of injured Palestinians by the Israeli zionist attacks. However, it is not easy because they are often prevented from entering the area and being targeted by Israeli zionist attacks.

Bassem Sadaqa pointed at a bullet hole lodged in the driver’s door of the ambulance he drives, tangible evidence of what he says is a regular occurrence of Palestinian medics being “regularly targeted” by Israeli forces. He is a father of five who lives in Niilin and has been a paramedic with the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) for 20 years.

Sadaqa had been on the front lines with his fellow Palestinian medics on the day this happened, fighting to save lives and rushing wounded protesters to hospitals a half-hour’s drive away.

“At first I thought the ambulance had been hit by stones until I saw the hole. The shooting wasn’t an accident, the Israeli soldiers were aiming at the ambulance as I was standing right near it. It also wasn’t the first time ambulances I have driven have been targeted,” said him quoted by Aljazeera.

The unmeasured use of weapons by the Israeli armed forces left many Palestinians seriously injured. One of the injured people was the mayor of Niilin, Emad Khawaja, who was shot in the leg by Israeli forces.

As the number of injuries rose, this particular ambulance hurtled at breakneck speed along the winding, narrow roads up hills and down valleys, making two trips from Niilin to Ramallah Hospital and back.

“One of the other problems we face is the soldiers refusing to allow the ambulances to approach those seriously wounded or stopping ambulances that are trying to evacuate the injured to hospital, and sometimes removing our patients from the ambulance,” Sadaqa said.

Abu Latifa (50) has been a paramedic for five years and volunteered with the PRCS for 17 years. He said that he had also been attacked by Israeli armed forces. “While taking part in protests in the first Intifada I had bones broken and was dumped at the side of the road by Israeli soldiers before a passing motorist took me to hospital where I was unconscious for two days,” said Abu Latifa.

Although his job was dangerous and stressful, he felt he was helping the best way he could after witnessing first-hand the wounds inflicted on Palestinians through the years and the lack of quality medical treatment afforded to them.