A Thoughtful, Analytical Approach to NGO Security

Why are ambulances targeted in Gaza?

After last weeks killing or a paramedic in Gaza I found myself wondering how and why such incidents happen. Sure, being a medic in Gaza is dangerous work. They place themselves in harms way in order to save others and unfortunately crossfire doesn’t discriminate.

Could there be other reasons for attacks on ambulances and medics in Gaza? The video link below suggests there is. Watch it carefully. What do you see?

If this video is in fact what it purports to be there is cause for concern. First is that the ambulances seem to show up before the violence starts. They don’t appear to be responding to an incident. Rather, they seem to know in advance that trouble is coming. How neutral and impartial are you if you become the de facto medical support for one side?

Second and more important is the issue of the ambulance itself. The ambulance is clearly marked as such and even has UN markings. Despite this the gunmen are clearly using it as transportation. Using ambulances to transport combatants is a violation of the Geneva Convention.

It doesn’t take many incidents like this to lose the acceptance that humanitarian organizations depend upon to ensure their safety and security.

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