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ICRC calls on Israeli army to immediately leave Palestine Red Crescent premises in Nablus

20-07-2006 News Release 80/06

Geneva / Tel Aviv (ICRC) – During a military operation in Nablus that began on the night of 18 July, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) occupied the premises of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), blocking the entrance and hindering the movement of ambulances, patients and staff.

This action shows grave disregard by the IDF for its obligation to respect and protect medical units. Since 19 July, the ICRC has repeatedly raised this issue with the Israeli authorities and called on the IDF to immediately leave the premises of the PRCS.

The PRCS runs emergency medical services and a rehabilitation centre for disabled children on its premises in Nablus, which are used for strictly humanitarian and medical purposes and which must therefore be kept safe from any form of military action or presence.

The PRCS is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Its medical units, which are clearly identified by the red crescent emblem, are entitled to full protection under international humanitarian law.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 25 90 or +41 79 251 93 18  

 Roland Huguenin, ICRC Jerusalem, tel. +972 8 282 26 44 or mobile +972 59 960 75 02  

 Caspar Landolt, ICRC Jerusalem, tel. +972 2 582 88 45 or +972 57 773 52 35  

 Bana Sayeh, ICRC Jerusalem, tel. +972 2 582 88 45 or +972 57 880 91 93  

 Yael Eytan, ICRC Tel Aviv, tel. +972 35 24 52 86 or +972 52 275 7517