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Palestinian civilians reportedly first to respond, treat Israelis wounded in Hebron shooting

July 3, 2016 3:10 P.M. (Updated: July 3, 2016 9:53 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian man and his wife administered first aid to Israelis injured in a shooting near the illegal Otniel settlement in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron on Friday that left a father killed and his wife and two children wounded, the man told Ma'an on Sunday.

“When I saw the car flipped over, I pulled over and stepped out of my car and rushed to help,” Ali Shroukh from al-Dhahiriya told Ma’an. “I jeopardized my life and my family’s life, but all I was concerned with was offering help.”

“I told Israeli police officers who were there that I was a doctor and would start to help rescue people,” he added. “A woman was shouting and I pulled her out of the car and gave her first aid, then I gave first aid to a girl. A man was already dead inside the car.”

Shroukh denied to Ma’an that he had called the Palestinian Red Crescent as Israeli media had initially reported.

“I did not call the Red Crescent or Magen David Adom,” he said. “I am a doctor and I did a human duty regardless of the color or nationality of those who needed medical treatment.”

He added that an ambulance of the Palestinian Red Crescent arrived soon afterwards and that he helped move the girl to the ambulance, where he continue to help treat her. Ten minutes later, a Magen David Adom ambulance reportedly arrived on the scene.

Shroukh's wife also reportedly administered first aid to the three wounded Israelis and assisted the Red Crescent.

When Israeli ambulances arrived at the scene and began treating the injured, the Palestinian ambulance reportedly remained at the scene until all of the injured were evacuated in ambulances.

A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

In November, the Red Crescent vehemently denied Israeli accusations that their paramedic team had ignored and refused to treat an injured Israeli family after a shooting attack near the illegal Otniel settlement in the occupied West Bank district of Hebron.

Red Crescent officials instead claimed they had arrived at the scene immediately following the incident, until Israeli military ambulances and Magen David Adom -- Israel’s national emergency service -- arrived, some of whom were strapped with guns. Feeling unsafe, they decided to leave after the victims were already being treated.

Meanwhile, Israeli paramedics have received heavy criticism by human rights groups for routinely refusing to treat or ignoring wounded Palestinians, while also preventing members of the Palestinian Red Crescent from reaching Palestinian victims in urgent need of treatment.

A video was released in March by Israeli rights group B’Tselem showing Israeli medics ignoring a severely wounded Palestinian in the West Bank city of Hebron, before a soldier executed the man by shooting him point-blank in the head.

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