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ICRC condemns the shelling of Gaza’s Al Aqsa Hospital

21-07-2014 News Release 14/124

Geneva / Tel Aviv (ICRC) – The ICRC condemns in the strongest terms the shelling today of the Al Aqsa hospital in Deir El Balah, Gaza, which killed at least four people and injured scores of others.

Gaza City, 21 July 2014 / ©Reuters/A. Zakot 

The hospital came under direct fire at least four times. The surgical ward, the intensive care unit and pieces of life-saving equipment were all severely damaged, disrupting essential medical services. An ICRC team visited the location and evaluated the damage, human and material, in order to bring immediate help and support.

"This incident is yet another illustration of the dangers faced by health care personnel, patients, ambulances and hospitals, in the current conflict in Gaza,” said Christian Cardon, the head of the ICRC’s sub-delegation in Gaza. “Even in the midst of warfare, people must be able to receive medical care in safety.”

The ICRC reminds all parties of their obligation to respect and to protect medical personnel, ambulances and facilities, as provided for under international humanitarian law. The parties to the conflict must ensure that medical personnel are not endangered or harmed, and hospitals and ambulances not attacked, damaged or misused. 

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Health-care workers must not be attacked

For further information, please contact:
Ran Goldstein, ICRC Tel Aviv, tel: +972 52 27 57 517
Nadia Dibsy, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 91 48
Nada Doumani, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 37 23 or +41 79 447 37 26