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ICRC concerned following events in Jericho

15-03-2006 News Release 06/19

Geneva (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories following the attack by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on the prison in Jericho and the abduction of civilians by Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip. The civilians abducted included humanitarian workers and an ICRC delegate, who was later released.

While military operations were still under way in Jericho, the ICRC reminded the Israeli authorities of their obligations under international humanitarian law. Detainees who are not participating in hostilities are protected under this body of law and are not military targets.
The ICRC regularly visited the people detained by the Palestinian Authority at Jericho prison and expects to be given access to all detainees seized by the Israeli authorities during yesterday's operations. The ICRC also conducts regular visits to people detained by the Israeli authorities.
According to the ICRC team in Jericho, ambulances of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) had difficulty in reaching the scene and evacuating the wounded. Throughout Tuesday afternoon, the ICRC coordinated with the Palestinian authorities, the prison authorities, the PRCS and the IDF in an attempt to facilitate medical evacuations. The ICRC stands ready to support the medical system should new needs arise.
Strict security measures have been taken in response to the current situation, but the ICRC remains present in the occupied Palestinian territories and remains committed to pursuing its humanitarian action.

 For further information, please contact:
Dorothea Krimitsas, ICRC Geneva, tel +41 22 730 25 90 or +41 79 251 93 18
Maria del Pilar Vanegas, ICRC Jerusalem, tel +972 2 582 88 45, mobile +972 57 728 09 91
Uriel Masad, ICRC Tel Aviv, tel + 972 35 24 52 86, mobile + 972 57 347 75 27
Iyad Nasr, ICRC Gaza, tel +972 8 28 28 874, mobile +972 59 60 30 15