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Israel/Palestinian territories: ICRC activities January to May 2006

31-05-2006 Operational Update

The ICRC has worked in Israel, the Occupied and Autonomous Territories for almost 40 years, striving to ensure respect for the provisions of international humanitarian law; update on its work during the first five months of 2006.

Between January and May 2006, the ICRC:

  • monitored compliance by Israel with its international humanitarian law obligations as an occupying power; it made 24 written and 177 oral and representations with a view to ensuring respect for the law or relieving the consequences of the occupation for the civilian population; it publicly expressed concern regarding the worsening of the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories and the increase in violence affecting both Israeli and Palestinian civilians;

  • visited 9,847 Palestinian detainees held in Israel and 1,502 detained by the Palestinian authorities, to assess their treatment and living conditions and enable them to stay in contact with their families; transported 110,989 Palestinian family members to visit their detained relatives;

  • assisted impoverished communities in Gaza and the West Bank through cash-for-work and livelihood-support projects; provided monthly relief aid to 1,743 households in Hebron old city and gave special food aid to 231 families across Gaza and the West Bank;

  • completed two water-supply projects covering the water needs of 5,700 people; started two more projects that would supply another 57,000 people;

  • lent its support to implementation of the agreement between Israel's Magen David Adom society (MDA) and the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS); this aims, among other things, at easing the passage of PRCS ambulances through Israeli checkpoints and making it easier to station some PRCS ambulances in East Jerusalem.

 (Both the MDA and the PRCS were formally recognized as national societies and admitted to full membership of the Movement at the 29th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in June 2006.)