The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday rejected allegations that a Palestinian Red Crescent was at the scene of last Friday’s shooting attack near Hevron but the paramedics did not treat the wounded Israelis and fled the scene.
In a statement on its website, the ICRC said that the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) had “immediately provided factual accounts, firmly rejected these allegations, and unequivocally reaffirmed its commitment to impartial response” to the attack.
“The PRCS’ record of principled and strictly humanitarian action is uncontested and well recognized. The ICRC assessment is that the PRCS operates with professionalism and in full respect of the principles of the RCRC movement, including impartiality. Any question and concern that may require clarification or correction is examined and addressed accordingly, without complacency, by the ICRC, with the national societies, and addressed directly with the concerned authorities,” added the statement.
The head of the ICRC also called Friday’s attack, in which Rabbi Ya’akov Litman and his son were murdered, “tragic and unacceptable”, adding that “deliberate or indiscriminate attacks against civilians, by whoever, can never be justified.”
The Israeli government announced on Saturday night its intentions to launch an international campaign against the Red Crescent over Friday’s events, after Magen David Adom confirmed that when its own medics arrived on the scene of the attack, they discovered a Red Crescent ambulance loitering nearby without providing medical help to the victims.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered the foreign ministry to lodge a stern complaint with the ICRC in Geneva, under whose auspices the Red Crescent operates, demanding an explanation as to why the Palestinian ambulance ignored Israeli victims, contrary to all humanitarian and ethical practices.
As well, Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Danon, on Monday wrote to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, demanding a condemnation of the Palestinian Red Crescent.
"An ambulance that doesn’t assist wounded civilians is a terrorist collaborator. This is a blatant disregard for all universal moral values a and blatant disregard for human life," Danon wrote Ban.