Israel raids East Jerusalem hospital for Palestinian medical records

Published November 9th, 2015 - 02:47 GMT

Israeli forces raided the al-Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem on Monday, the third incursion of its kind in two weeks, and demanded to see the medical records of a Palestinian teenager treated by doctors there.

Israeli border police deployed in the hospital courtyard as intelligence officers searched through data on the hospital's administrative computers for the medical records of a Palestinian teenager, hospital staff said.

The officers produced a court order allowing the search.

Dr. Rafiq al-Husseini, director of the hospital, condemned the raid and demanded an end to the violation of patients' privacy.

Israeli police had threatened to open an investigation against doctors who did not report the names of those treated after being injured in clashes, a threat condemned by al-Husseini as a violation of basic humanitarian principles.

Police reportedly told doctors that it is mandated by law that the hospital notify Israeli authorities when Palestinians involved in clashes are treated at the hospital.

On Oct. 29, Israeli forces raided the al-Makassed Hospital, shooting tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets during a sit-in protest against recent Israeli actions at the hospital.

Earlier on the same day the administration of al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem said it had refused to hand over medical files to Israeli forces belonging to Palestinians treated after recent clashes that had erupted in the city.

Days earlier, undercover special units had stormed the hospital's emergency department, demanding to see the file of a Palestinian they said was treated at the hospital several days before.

At the beginning of last 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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