| Welcome to Global Village Space

Saturday, July 20, 2024

IDF opened fire on a medical convoy led by WHO

The IDF opened fire on a medical convoy led by the World Health Organization as it undertook a high-risk mission.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) opened fire on a medical convoy led by the World Health Organization (WHO) as it undertook a high-risk mission to deliver crucial medical supplies to Al-Ahli Hospital in northern Gaza. The incident, which occurred on Saturday, has raised serious concerns about the safety of humanitarian missions in the region and the treatment of health workers by IDF soldiers.

High-Risk Mission

The WHO-led convoy, accompanied by partners from the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), embarked on a perilous journey through Gaza to reach Al-Ahli Hospital. The mission aimed to deliver vital medical supplies to address the escalating healthcare crisis in the region. However, the journey quickly turned into a harrowing ordeal for the convoy members.

Read More: Hamas fires rockets at Israel – IDF

Checkpoint Inspections and Detentions

At the Wadi Gaza checkpoint, the convoy underwent an initial inspection by IDF soldiers. Reports indicate that PRCS health workers were treated in a degrading and humiliating manner during the inspection process. Ambulance staff were forcibly removed from their vehicles for identification, and two PRCS employees were allegedly detained for over an hour. Shockingly, one of them was reportedly forced to kneel at gunpoint, harassed, beaten, stripped, and searched out of sight.

Gunfire on the Convoy

After passing through the checkpoint and entering Gaza City, the aid truck carrying medical supplies and an ambulance were struck by bullets. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed this shocking development on social media, highlighting the dangerous conditions the convoy faced during its critical mission.

Delays and Tragedy

Upon the convoy’s return to the south of Gaza, it faced further delays and inspections at the Wadi Gaza checkpoint. Critical patients were allegedly searched by armed Israeli soldiers, leading to the tragic death of one patient due to untreated wounds. The delays not only compromised the health and well-being of patients but also underscored the challenges faced by humanitarian actors in providing aid within Gaza.

UN Intervention

The WHO reported that a PRCS health worker, previously detained, underwent a second interrogation. Following intervention by the United Nations, he was released, but the manner in which he was treated is deeply troubling. Forced to walk back without clothes or shoes, hands tied behind his back, the incident raises serious questions about the treatment of humanitarian workers and the respect for human rights.

Concerns for Humanitarian Access

Dr. Tedros expressed deep concerns about the prolonged checks and detentions of health workers, emphasising the risk posed to already fragile patients. The incident highlights the shrinking space for humanitarian actors to operate within Gaza, further exacerbating the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the region.

Read More: IDF and US hold joint drills targeted at Iran

The shocking events surrounding the WHO-led convoy’s mission in Gaza underscore the urgent need for a thorough investigation into the actions of the IDF. Humanitarian actors must be allowed to carry out their crucial work without fear of violence or intimidation. The international community must pay close attention to these incidents and work towards ensuring the safety and security of those providing essential aid in conflict zones.