Today, at approximately 1:00 PM, six IDF soldiers entered the al-Baq Mosque in the old city of Nablus, where an emergency clinic has been established. At the time, present in the clinic were 45 wounded persons, four doctors, several volunteers, and ten corpses that it had not yet been possible to remove.
According to the information provided to B'Tselem by Dr. Zahara el-Wawi, a doctor at the clinic, the soldiers entered the mosque with their guns resting on the shoulders of Palestinian civilians who were forced to march in front of the soldiers as "human shields."
According to Dr. Wawi, who spoke with a B'Tselem fieldworker while the soldiers were in the mosque, the soldiers separated the medical staff from the patients, searched the dead bodies, and checked the identities of the injured patients.
The emergency clinic in the mosque was opened last Wednesday, immediately following the IDF incursion into Nablus. According to Dr. Wawi, the clinic's supply of medicines has been exhausted, and as a result the clinic is unable to take in any additional patients. The supply of water in the clinic has also been exhausted, as has the gas that runs the generator that provides electricity to the clinic.
B'Tselem has asked the IDF to allow for the evacuation of the wounded, the corpses and the medical staff from the clinic.
Over the past several days, B'Tselem has received additional reports regarding the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields by IDF soldiers, as well as the prevention of evacuation of wounded persons, and the lack of electricity and medical supplies at medical centers.
Endangering the lives of innocent civilians constitutes a flagrant violation of the most basic principles of international humanitarian law. Such acts cannot be justified based on "military necessity" as the IDF has frequently claimed in regard to many other violations.
B'Tselem calls on IDF commanders to clarify to their soldiers that such acts are absolutely forbidden. B'Tselem also calls for a thorough investigation into these incidents and that those found responsible for these human rights violations be held accountable.
Copyright IICHOCT 2002. Reprinted for fair use only
The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/IIC204B.html
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