Red Crescent denies ignoring Israeli terror victims

Palestinian organization says Israeli claims it failed to offer help in Friday attack are a ‘false accusation’

Illustrative. Israeli security forces stand guard in the  West Bank on November 13, 2015. (Yonatan SIndel/Flash90)
Illustrative. Israeli security forces stand guard in the West Bank on November 13, 2015. (Yonatan SIndel/Flash90)

The Palestinian Red Crescent has refuted Israeli claims that its medics ignored wounded Israelis left for dead after terrorists opened fire on their car near the West Bank settlement of Otniel on Friday.

Erab Fuqaha, a spokeswoman for the organization, told Army Radio Sunday morning that allegations were a “false accusation.”

“Our medics got out, examined the deceased, and helped the wounded. They remained there until the Israeli military ambulance,” she said.

A statement on their website said the Palestinian Red Crescent Society “categorically denies allegations made by an Israeli Government spokesperson, on his Facebook account, in which he claims that PRCS’ teams refused to discharge their humanitarian duty and to assist several wounded Israelis near Al Samou.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday demanded an explanation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as to why a Palestinian ambulance ignored wounded Israelis left for dead by terrorists who opened fire on the Litman family on Friday afternoon.

The prime minister said Israel was prepared to take sanctions against the Red Crescent Society, a member of the Geneva-based umbrella humanitarian aid organization, for abandoning the ICRC mandate to assist all victims of armed conflicts, the Ynet news site reported.

After the shooting attack on Friday that killed Rabbi Ya’akov Litman and his 18-year-old son Netanel, the family’s 16-year-old son called Israel’s emergency service to report the attack, and told the Magen David Adom operator that a Red Crescent ambulance happened to be driving by and saw the injured family, but declined to stop and help them.

“There are two wounded here, but we have the Red Crescent with us,” the boy can be heard saying in a recording of the phone call. Then he adds: “The Red Crescent ambulance drove away from us, I don’t know why.”

A statement released by the Red Crescent Friday evening said its paramedics got out of the vehicle to offer aid to the wounded, but then an IDF ambulance arrived and soldiers emerged with guns drawn. The Red Crescent paramedics then left the scene, the statement said.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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