ICRC activities in Israel, the Occupied and Autonomous Territories: July 2005
31-07-2005 Operational Update
The following is an update of activities carried out by the ICRC in Israel, the Occupied and Autonomous Territories in July 2005.
Monitoring conditions of detention
In Israel, the Occupied and Autonomous Territories, the ICRC regularly visits detainees falling under its mandate in order to monitor their conditions of detention and treatment. During these visits, ICRC delegates have access to all detention facilities and may conduct interviews in private with any detainees. The observations and recommendations of the ICRC are submitted confidentially to the authorities in charge.
Detainees visited in Israeli places of detention
In July, ICRC delegates visited 4 interrogation centres and Maassiahu, Zohar, Ofek, Gilboa, Hadarim, Shikma, Ohalei Kedar, and Damoun Prisons. They also visited Salem, Benyamin, Gush Etzion and Efraim Provisional Detention Centres as well as Megiddo Military Detention Centre and Akko police station. Visits were also conducted to Magen Hospital and Akko Mental Hospital.
Detainees visited in the Territories
On the Palestinian side, ICRC delegates visited, in the Gaza Strip, the Saraya Central Prison and the interrogation centres of the Preventive Security, Military Intelligence (Istikhbarat) and the General Intelligence (Mukhabarat).
In the West Bank, ICRC delegates visited Jenin, Nablus and Jericho Central Prison and the interrogation centres of the General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) and the Preventive Security in Jericho, Bethlehem, Tulkarem and Qalqilia as well as the Special Forces in Ramallah. Other visits were conducted in Jericho, Tulkarem and Bethlehem police stations.
Family visits and messages to detainees
The ICRC's Family Visit Program allows families from Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to visit relatives held in Israeli places of detention. Facilitating these contacts is of primary importance to the ICRC.
In July, more than 9,500 people from East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza travelled to 23 Israeli places of detention and visited more than 3,600 detainees.
Another way of maintaining family links while people are detained is to exchange Red Cross Messages (RCM). In the period mentioned, almost 2,300 messages regarding family news were exchanged through the ICRC between detainees and their relatives.
Latest distributions in the West Bank and Gaza
During the month of July, the ICRC carried out the following relief activities:
House destruction relief programme
11 families whose homes were destroyed in East Jerusalem, Jenin and Hebron received ICRC relief kits.
H2 assistance programme
In the city of Hebron (zone H2 – under Israeli control), the ICRC distributed food parcels to around 2,470 families especially affected by strict closures.
91 food parcels and hygiene kits were distributed to vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza.
During the month of July, the PRCS and the ICRC signed cooperation agreements concerning the following programmes:
House Destruction R elief Programme for families whose houses are destroyed or damaged.
Vehicle Fleet Management to develop and maintain good vehicle records, manuals and reporting system.
Relief Operations, Response and Capacity Building to maintain and enhance the PRCS ability to respond to emergency or disaster situations.
Advanced Medical Post to provide the PRCS with the necessary financial resources to meet potential medical needs during the Disengagement Plan.
Field Hospital Exercise to conduct training and field exercise for PRCS staff and volunteers.
Promoting respect for the civilian population
It is the responsibility of all those involved in armed conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The ICRC supports their efforts by raising awareness about IHL and about its role and activities.
Throughout July, several sessions on the ICRC and the basic principles of IHL were held for IDF field cadets, checkpoint commanders and Military Police (West Bank Barrier passage unit).
In addition, a presentation on the ICRC and the Movement was carried out for 380 MDA youth volunteers.
On the Palestinian side, different sessions were held for members of the security services in the West Bank and Gaza.
In Gaza, a round-table discussion on " the beginning and end of occupation " from an IHL point of view, was held for heads and legal advisers of Palestinian human rights NGOs from the Gaza Strip.
In the framework of the summer activities, the ICRC carried out several dissemination sessions to teenagers participating in summer camps organized by the PRCS. In the Gaza Strip, it also addressed youth in summer camps organized by NGOs.
Also, sessions were carried out for PRCS staff and volunteers, members of village councils, youth clubs and students as well as for prayer leaders in Tulkarem.