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Occupied and autonomous territories: ICRC acts as neutral intermediary

07-12-2001 News Release 01/48

Amid the increased violence, the ICRC has stepped up its efforts to facilitate the transport of the sick and wounded and the movement of civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

On 22 October, Mohammed Abu Fouda was shot and seriously injured in the chest and upper left arm. He underwent a series of operations in the West Bank and Jordan, but the nerves in his arm failed to respond to treatment. Although he found a sponsor to cover the cost of a nerve transplant in Austria, he was not allowed to travel for security reasons. After the ICRC made representations to the Israeli Civil Administration on his behalf, Mohammed was finally able to leave for Austria on 4 December.

The same day, the ICRC obtained permission for five patients in need of dialysis to be taken from Jenin to Nablus for treatment. The five had been unable to travel because their permits were not issued on time. After a Palestine Red Crescent ambulance brought them to Nablus, all five were hospitalized for further care.

Following ICRC negotiations with the Israeli authorities in Ramallah district, Palestinian farmers from Janieh village were allowed to collect their olives in the settlement of Talmon. The harvest of about 2,000 olive trees, which in normal circumstances would take one week, had to be interrupted after only three days owing to increased violence in the West Bank. Since the beginning of the second intifada , olive oil has become the main source of income for many people who have lost their jobs.

ICRC staff remain present in the occupied and the autonomous territories, giving whatever assistance they can to all those in need, within the limits imposed by the prevailing security situation.