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Israel and the occupied/autonomous territories: A delegate's work on the West Bank

09-11-2000 News Release 00/43

“We don’t often get the chance to keep to the programme we've set the day before. Priorities are continually being changed by events.” Caroline Rouvrey, the ICRC delegate responsible for the Ramallah area of the West Bank, is on her way to the small village of Himza, where there have just been clashes between Israelis and Palestinians. The home of a Palestinian family has been partially destroyed, and the villagers are afraid to venture out onto the main roads in the tense atmosphere that has ensued.

Ms Rouvrey enquires about damage and loss of property in the village. The fact that the population of about 100 is restricted to a confined area has heightened fears that supply routes might be cut off. She takes notes and thinks about how things might be improved for the villagers. She offers to ask the Israeli authorities if they will relax their cordon to make it easier for the inhabitants to move around. “In this case there are clearly more victims on the Palestinian side, but the point we always make in our dealings with the various authorities is that the ICRC’s mandate is to help everyone – people's needs are our only concern.”

About 20 delegates are currently working on the West Bank, in the Gaza Strip and in East Jerusalem.