For the second time during the weekly protest against the Apartheid Wall in Ni`lin ,the IOF detained staff and volunteers from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. In total 5 staff from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, a press photographer, Hamude Sa-id and a foreign journalist were detained.
After residents prayed on the land next to the wall, the protest started towards the Apartheid Wall. When they reached the gates of the Wall, the IOF chased the demonstrators trying to arrest them. Although at first they failed, the IOF eventually detained a medical crew of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. The medical crew was kept behind the Wall, together with the two journalists and all were released after a couple of hours. This is the second time the IOF has arrested medical staff, the first time was two months ago. These detentions go against the Geneva Conventions which demands that medical staff not be targeted.
A paramedic from the Red Crescent who was detained describes the event, `When the Occupation Forces went to arrest the demonstrators they opened the gates and drove off chasing the protesters. We, the medical crew, were in the ambulance along with a press photographer and a foreign journalist. We were in an advanced position so when the soldiers began to charge we did not rush to withdraw to ensure that if anyone was injured, we could pick them up. When we got to the area, we were surprised by two soldiers and an occupation officer coming in our direction. They approached the vehicle and ordered us to stop, so we did. The occupation officer asked us, âWhat are you doing here?â
Showing them our medical equipment, we answered that we are paramedics. Then they took us to the area isolated behind the Wall and we were detained for almost two hours, sitting on the ground under the heat of the sun, forbidden to move under the shadow. The Occupation Forces shouted at us, which made it difficult to communicate on our mobiles. They took our ID numbers, names and warned us not to enter to the area of the Wall under the pretext that it is a closed military zone.