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Human Rights Activists to accompany medical teams in Gaza

Since an air raid by the Israeli Air Force led to the injury of one and death of another Palestinian doctor on December 30th, International Solidarity Movement and Free Gaza Movement volunteers will be accompanying medical teams throughout the Gaza Strip.

A press conference was held today to announce the new task the international volunteers will take on, starting January 1, 2009.

In an effort to document the war crimes being committed by the Israeli military operation in Gaza, the internationals will be joining Gazan medical teams in shifts, both governmental and NGO hospitals. Volunteers expressed their concerns about the violation of Articles 19 and 21 of the Geneva Convention, which state that medical facilities and vehicles are to be protected from warfare.

“Attacking a medical team is in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions. External communities must apply pressure for Israel to cease their illegal actions. The voices of the international public condemning these attacks must continue until heard by Israel. We strongly urge Israel to end their attacks on medical personnel.” Sharon Lock – International Solidarity Movement (ISM)

“The Israeli siege on Gaza has significantly diminished the essential medical supplies necessary to treat the wounded. Recent attacks on the limited medical tools available to the Gazan people are not only in violation of international conventions, but ensure that even fewer will receive vital medical treatment. We urge Israel to stop their attacks of medical personnel and facilities.” Ewa Jasiewicz – Free Gaza Movement