Michael Boyden

The WHO and the IRC are Collaborators

If there is any international body that one would expect to carry out its mandate in an objective and professional manner, then it is the World Health Organization.

In times of war, it is particularly important that hospitals, medical facilities, ambulances and the like remain outside the conflict and are respected as such.

Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War states specifically that “States which are Parties to a conflict shall provide all civilian hospitals with certificates showing that they are civilian hospitals and that the buildings which they occupy are not used for any purpose which would deprive these hospitals of protection in accordance with Article 19”.

Article 19 states: “The protection to which civilian hospitals are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy“.

There is ample evidence of Hamas terrorists using ambulances to transport their fighters, and hospitals within the Gaza Strip being used as military command centres and hideouts. However, the silence of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Red Cross (IRC) is deafening.

Where is the condemnation of Hamas? The WHO was quick to blame Israel for ordering the evacuation of 22 hospitals treating more than 2000 inpatients in northern Gaza even though the purpose of the evacuation was to protect their lives.

United States intelligence indicated that Hamas was using the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for military purposes, possibly for weapon storage and also for holding captives. Further evidence of such activities was uncovered following the IDF’s raid of the hospital last night.

And yet, the WHO and the IRC refuse to condemn Hamas publicly even though the terrorists deny them access to the hostages and have prevented the transfer of medications to them.

Such international bodies are obviously interested in preserving their neutrality and protecting the lives of their workers in the Gaza Strip. However, when such behaviour gives Hamas a carte blanche while they condemn Israel for its actions, they become in effect an accessory after the fact.

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
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