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Euro-Med: WHO may have facilitated doctors’ abduction in Gaza

GAZA(Palestine Foundation Information Center)Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has called for an immediate and comprehensive inquiry into the Israeli arrest of Palestinian medical staff during the al-Shifa hospital evacuation process to southern Gaza in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Euro-Med expressed on Friday its concerns over reports suggesting that WHO may have knowingly or unknowingly played a role in the kidnapping of senior medical staff from the Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip.

The Euro-med said, in a statement, that WHO was assigned on Thursday to supervise the coordination for al-Shifa Hospital evacuation. Israeli soldiers, however, stopped the convoy of patients and medical staff for over seven hours, ill-treated them and arrested some of them including the director of al-Shifa Hospital, Dr. Mohammad Abu Salmiya. This happened after the WHO promised them a safe passage to the south.

One day earlier, the Israeli army arrested three paramedics of the Palestinian Red Crescent and a companion of one of the wounded. They were kidnapped during their transfer that was coordinated by WHO.

The Euro-Med pointed out that WHO has yet to comment on the two incidents where arrests of health workers have been carried out under its coordination.

Furthermore, the UN organization did not condemn the Israeli army’s violation of the privilege of immunity given to hospitals and medical personnel under international humanitarian law, especially in terms of the guarantee of safe hospital evacuation.

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