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Hospital refuses Israeli demand for Palestinian medical records

Oct. 29, 2015 11:28 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 9, 2015 3:42 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- The administration of al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem said Thursday it refused to hand over medical files to Israeli forces belonging to Palestinians treated after recent clashes that have erupted in the city.

The head of al-Makassed Hospital, Rafis al-Hussieni, told Ma'an that Israeli forces entered the medical facility on Tuesday and Wednesday requesting the files without permission from an Israeli court.

Al-Husseini said that undercover armed Israeli forces deployed in units throughout the hospital, insulting patients and employees before requesting medical files belonging to a Palestinian youth who was shot by Israeli forces, treated in the hospital, and recently detained.

The forces told hospital staff that a prescription issued by al-Makassed had been found during a raid of the child's home.

Al-Husseini and the medical staff in the hospital would decline to release patient information to the forces.

"It is not our job to give any information about anyone comes to hospital or to take any personal information. Our job is only to help them and provide them with medical treatment," al-Husseini told Ma'an.

He added that the hospital at times provides medical treatment for injured Palestinians without taking any information or creating files for them.

A staff member of the hospital on Tuesday told Ma'an that they released the information from the file of a Palestinian patient to Israeli forces.

Al-Husseini condemned Israeli violations against the hospital. "The hospital has become desecrated by Israeli troops," he said, urging international human rights groups and legal committees to protect the hospital.

"Israeli violations against the Palestinian hospital are against the law and until today we cannot find anyone to protect the hospital, the patients, and the staff."

Al-Makassed employees have called for a march on Thursday in front of the hospital to to protest the recent violations.

The association representing the employees also condemned the lack of international response towards recent events in Jerusalem including Israeli raids of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the separation of Palestinian neighborhoods, increased checkpoints across the occupied city.

Israeli forces have frequently stormed hospitals to seize medical records and detain patients.

At the beginning of the month, undercover forces, dressed as Palestinians, detained a Palestinian patient after storming al-Arabi Hospital in Nablus in the northern West Bank.

In mid-October, the Palestine Red Crescent Society also decried the actions of Israeli forces toward its medical staff.

The society said that Israeli forces had attacked its ambulance crews and detained Palestinian patients from inside ambulances. It said that the incidents were "a blatant violation" of international humanitarian law.

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