Ya'akov Litman (L) was shot and killed near the West Bank settlement of Otniel.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinian Red Crescent Society of acting against ‘human and civilized norms’ for failing to stop and treat members of the Litman family who were the target of a terror attack in the South Hebron Hills on Friday.
He instructed the Foreign Ministry to register a sharp protest with the International Committee of the Red Cross, under whose auspices the Palestinian Red Crescent Society operates.
"If things are indeed as they seem to me today, the State of Israel will take appropriate steps against the Red Crescent," Netanyahu said.
He spoke against the Palestinian Red Crescent both at a Jerusalem Press Conference on Saturday night and in a condolence call he had with Noa Litman, whose husband Yaakov and son Netanel, 18, were killed by Palestinian gunmen in the attack.
Noa told Netanyahu that an ambulance from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society was the first responder to the scene of the attack, but that it had left without offering them assistance.
Dvir Litman, 16, who was lightly wounded by the Palestinian gunmen had complained about the ambulance's actions in an emergency call he made to Magen David Adom to report the attack.
"We're about a kilometer past Otniel. They shot at our car,” the told the MDA dispatcher as he asked for help.
"There's a Red Crescent ambulance here," he said. "There are two wounded. At least two. We were seven in the car. One of the wounded was in the middle of calling. We had a Red Crescent ambulance here. The Red Crescent left us. I don't know why,” Dvir said.
On its webpage the Palestinian Red Crescent Society denied all the accusations against it.
“A PRCS’ team arrived at the scene and started providing first aid to the wounded. A few minutes later, two Israeli ambulances, one belonging to the Israeli army and another from Magen David Adom, arrived at the scene. The ambulances’ teams headed towards the wounded people, bandaging their weapons. Given that Israeli paramedics had arrived and were providing medical care to casualties, PRCS’ team left the scene which they felt had become unsafe,” the PRSC wrote on its website.
It charged that since October 1 the IDF has consistently attacked its teams in the field, by shooting and firing tear gas canisters at them or by beating and pepper spraying them.
Some “125 PRCS emergency medical technicians have been wounded and 67 ambulances damaged as a result of these systematic practices, which go against international human law provisions,” it said.
In addition, on 66 occasions in that same time period Israel has prevented Red Crescent teams form reaching Palestinians who were sick or wounded, PRCS claimed.
“The humanitarian principles and values and professionalism of PRCS’s teams are indisputable. PRCS has over the years provided first aid to hundreds of Israelis present in the occupied Palestinian territories, as was the case in mid-October when its teams provided Israeli citizens with medical assistance near Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus,” it said.
Israel “should put an end to this information war and to the falsification of facts aimed at spreading misinformation and Israeli propaganda,” it said.