Israel blocking ambulances from reaching wounded civilians: Red Cross

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Bob26003, Jan 8, 2009.

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  1. Bob26003

    Bob26003 Well-Known Member

    (Reuters) - The ICRC believes there are more wounded sheltering in the ruins of shelled houses in Gaza and has demanded that the Israeli military provide access for a search

    By Martin Fletcher, in Jerusalem

    January 08, 2009 "The Times" -- -The International Committee of the Red Cross has accused the Israeli military of "unacceptable" conduct and breaching international humanitarian law after discovering four emaciated children living next to the corpses of their mothers and other adults in bomb-shattered houses in Gaza City.

    The ICRC said that it had spent four days seeking Israeli guarantees of safe passage so that it could gain access to the houses in the badly damaged Zaytun neighbourhood of the city. It was finally allowed to send in a rescue team and four Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulances yesterday afternoon and said today that what they found was shocking.

    In one house they discovered four small children, alive but too weak to stand, next to the bodies of their dead mothers. In all their were 12 dead bodies lying on mattresses.

    In another house they found 15 survivors of the Israeli bombardment, several of them wounded, and in a third, three corpses. At that point they were ordered to leave by Israeli soldiers manning a post some 80 metres away, but they refused to do so.

    The children and the wounded had to be taken to the ambulances by donkey cart because earth walls erected by the Israeli army made it impossible to bring the vehicles close enough to the houses. In all, the rescue team removed 18 wounded and 12 others who were extremely exhausted. It took away two corpses and plans to return to fetch 13 more tomorrow.

    The ICRC said that it believed there were more wounded sheltering in the ruins of other houses in the same neighbourhood, and in an unusually robust public statement issued by the organisation's Geneva headquarters it demanded that the Israeli military grant it immediate access to search for them.

    "This is a shocking incident," Pierre Wettach, the ICRC's head of delegation for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said. "The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded."

    The ICRC accused the Israeli military of failing to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and remove the wounded, and called the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable.
  2. Bob26003

    Bob26003 Well-Known Member

    Israel accused over Gaza wounded

    Thursday's Israeli bombardment was the heaviest so far

    The Red Cross has accused Israel of failing to fulfil its obligation to help wounded civilians in Gaza.

    ICRC staff found four weak and scared children beside their mothers' bodies in houses hit by shelling in Zeitoun.

    The Israeli military has not yet responded to the accusation, but said it worked closely with aid groups so that civilians could get assistance.

    Meanwhile the UN said it was suspending aid operations in Gaza because of the danger to staff from Israeli attacks.

    "We have suspended our operations in Gaza until the Israeli authorities can guarantee our safety and security," said Chris Gunness, spokesman for the United Nations relief agency Unrwa.

    "Our installations have been hit, our workers have been killed in spite of the fact that the Israeli authorities have the co-ordinates of our facilities and that all our movements are co-ordinated with the Israeli army.

    "It is with great regret that Unrwa has been forced to make this difficult decision."
  3. Aeterna

    Aeterna Account Closed

    Before I say anything, I want to say that I'm not Pro-Israel or Pro-Palestine.

    However, I'm not really sure I can feel sympathy for what the Red Cross has to go through.

    I would love to see the Red Cross be able to get in and treat the injured and wounded of this war as soon as possible. However, given the nature of Hamas and this ground war, it's going to get ugly. War is never a pretty picture, and these kind of atrocities are par for the course when it comes to modern conflict.

    The Red Cross has to realize that they're putting themselves in danger by entering an active war zone. Even though there are provisions for keeping the Red Cross safe, the danger of misfires and misdirected attacks don't disappear because a piece of paper says it does.
  4. MeAndYou

    MeAndYou Well-Known Member

    I've heard about ambulances being blocked. One of the reasons for this I believe is because ambulances are being used as "troop" carriers....Disturbing.
  5. Aaron

    Aaron Well-Known Member

    Red Cross/Crescent ambulances?...I'd be very surprised if that was true.
  6. MeAndYou

    MeAndYou Well-Known Member

    Oh maybe not red cross ones. Either way war is horrible.
  7. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    Let's face it, they have a free pass to do what they want and no one is going to do anything about it. :dry:
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