ICRC Steps up its Activities as Extensive Israeli Military Operation Takes Place in West Bank and Gaza

TEL AVIV/JERUSALEM/GENEVA, June 18, 2014 – (WAFA) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is intensifying its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance as tensions mount and an extensive military operation takes place to rescue three abducted people in the West Bank, said a press release issued Tuesday by the Committee focusing on the impact of the current military operations in the West Bank and tensions in Gaza.

The Committee called on all concerned parties to fully comply with international humanitarian law, in particular by allowing medical personnel to carry out their activities in safety.

“The operation currently under way has included house-to-house searches and night raids, over 200 arrests, and the requisition of some private homes. Incidents of assault and clashes resulting in casualties – including one death in the West Bank and injuries in Gaza – are fuelling frustration and may trigger further violence. In Gaza, renewed air strikes and rocket fire are also contributing to rising tension” said the press release.

“Civilians living in the West Bank now face increased restrictions on their movements, and several thousand family members cannot visit their loved ones in prisons in Israel this week because of security closures,” said Jacques de Maio head of the ICRC delegation in Israel and the occupied Palestinian  territories.

The ICRC is conducting regular visits to detained hunger strikers and calling [the Israeli authorities] for a swift resumption of family visits, which are required under the Fourth Geneva Convention, stated the release.

‘The military operations by Israeli forces must fully respect the lives, dignity and livelihoods of civilians,’ said Robert Mardini ICRC’s head of operations for the Near and Middle East.

The ICRC reaffirmed its determination to provide humanitarian assistance for everyone in need throughout this uncertain period. To achieve this aim, it has stepped up its activities on the ground, its monitoring of the situation, and its confidential dialogue with the authorities. It is also making every effort to visit recently detained individuals.

Source: WAFA