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ICRC: Civilians must not be attacked

23-07-2002 News Release

Tel Aviv, 23 July 2002 (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply concerned with the escalating spiral of violence over the past two weeks in Israel, the Occupied and the Autonomous Territories which is causing an increasing number of casualties among civilians.

Yesterday's attack on a densely populated residential area in Gaza has led so far to the death of 15 Palestinians - 9 of them children - and the injury of over 140 people. Last week, 12 civilians - 10 Israelis and two foreign nationals including women and children have lost their lives in two deliberate attacks. In addition, Palestinian civilians have been killed in various incidents in the West Bank and Gaza on an almost daily basis.
 
Attacks against civilians, indiscriminate attacks as well as reprisals against civilians and their property are strictly prohibited under international humanitarian law (IHL) which requires an absolute distinction between civilian population and military targets.

The ICRC has repeatedly called for Palestinian and Israeli civilians to be spared and insists on the requirement to respect principles of IHL in all circumstances.