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UN official: Israel should respect Palestinians’ right to healthcare

November 4, 2015 at 12:28 pm

A United Nations official has criticised the storming of a Palestinian hospital in Jerusalem by Israeli troops, saying that Israel should respect the Palestinian people’s right to obtain healthcare.

According to the UN news centre, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territories Robert Piper said: “The conduct by the Israeli security forces during several entries into Makassed hospital this past week is unacceptable and must not be repeated.”

In a written press release, a copy of which made available to Anadolu, Piper added: “Actions that undermine the ability of health workers to provide care to those in need are violations of international law.”

Piper pointed out that Palestinian medical services are being impeded by checkpoints and barriers established recently near Augusta Victoria Hospital (also in Gabal El-Zaytone) in the wake of the escalating violence in East Jerusalem.

“These obstacles have delayed access of patients and staff as well as medical referrals between Augusta Victoria and Makassed hospitals,” the press release stated.

Israeli armed police forcibly entered Makassed Hospital in the Gabal El-Zaytone neighbourhood on 27 and 28 October to allegedly obtain medical files and footage from the camera of a child who was receiving treatment at the hospital. The child is now in Israeli custody.

On 29 October, Israeli police fired tear gas canisters inside the hospital building while medical staff peacefully protested against the recent forced entry.

Since the beginning of last month, the Palestinian territories have born witness to violent clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces after the escalation of Israeli incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque.