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Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories: Civilians on both sides pay price of escalation

18-01-2008 News Release 08/9

Tel Aviv / Jerusalem (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today expressed its concern about the suffering of men, women and children taking no direct part in the ongoing conflict between Palestinian militants and the Israeli armed forces.

In recent days, intense fighting has once again had severe consequences for civilians in both Israel and the Gaza Strip. At least 100 rockets have struck Sderot town and the surrounding western Negev region. These attacks resulted in casualties among Israeli civilians, including young children.

At the same time, air strikes and incursions by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) inside the Gaza Strip have caused a high number of fatalities and injuries, including several civilians. The population of Gaza is paying a high price for the violence resulting from daily IDF operations, which have the effect of worsening the already harsh reality of life there.

" The ICRC is in daily contact with the Israeli army and Palestinian armed factions in an effort to persuade them to respect the civilian population, " said Christoph Harnisch, head of the ICRC's delegation in Israel and the occupied territories.

The ICRC reminds all parties to the conflict of their obligation to comply with international humanitarian law. In particular, it urgently calls on them to ensure that the civilian population is protected.

    

    

 
For further information, please contact:
  Michèle Mercier, ICRC Jerusalem, tel. + 972 2 582 88 45 or + 972 52 601 91 50
  Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, tel. + 41 22 730 25 90 or + 41 79 251 93 18