UNICEF reports Israeli forces shot fishermen, denying them medical care and letting them bleed to death

Edited by Ed Newman
2024-06-16 07:28:56


Rafah, June 16 (RHC)-- UNICEF has reported that Israeli forces shot fishermen in the West Bank and the denied them medical care.

James Elder, a UNICEF spokesman, says he witnessed Israeli forces shoot dead two Palestinian fishermen in Gaza and denied them medical care.

“I was watching fishermen – they were probably lawyers and engineers in a past life – with a single fishing net each, just trying to catch a few fish for their families.  Suddenly, a tank came from the very large Israeli checkpoint,” Elder told Al Jazeera.

He said that he and doctors and paramedics from other UN agencies witnessed two fishermen flee on foot only to be shot down on the beach.  They immediately called the Israeli army for permission to provide medical attention to the fishermen.

“That help was denied,” Elder said.  “Half an hour later, the other fishermen took body bags and went down to the beach.”  

One of the fishermen, Elder added, was shot in the back, while the other was shot in the neck.  “I know for a fact because I saw that, only because we bore witness to that.  These are not unique events on the Gaza Strip.”

The UNICEF spokesperson also confirmed that there are at least 10,000 children denied access to aid.  He joined the concerns expressed by the World Health Organization, noting that the health crisis is growing every day in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the West Bank, where attacks on health infrastructure and increased restrictions on movement are obstructing access to health care.”

“Over 5,200 people, 800 of them children, have been injured, adding to the growing burden of trauma and emergency care at already strained health facilities,” said the WHO in a statement.

As of May 28th, WHO has documented 480 attacks on health care in the West Bank since 7 October 7th last year, resulting in 16 deaths and 95 injuries.  The attacks affected 54 health facilities, 20 mobile clinics and 319 ambulances.

“The closure of checkpoints, arbitrary obstructions, and detentions of health workers, rising insecurity, as well as the siege and closure of entire towns and communities has made movement within the West Bank increasingly restricted, impeding access to health facilities.  Extensive infrastructure and housing damage, particularly in the northern West Bank, have compounded the situation by obstructing access for ambulances and first-aid responders.”



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