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ICRC activities in Israel, the Occupied and Autonomous Territories: August 2005

01-09-2005 Operational Update

The following is an update of activities carried out by the ICRC in Israel, the Occupied and Autonomous Territories in August 2005.



 Monitoring conditions of detention  

In Israel, the Occupied and Autonomous Territories, the ICRC regularly visits detainees falling under its mandate in order to monitor their conditions of detention and treatment. During these visits, ICRC delegates have access to all detention facilities and may conduct interviews in private with any detainees. The observations and recommendations of the ICRC are submitted confidentially to the authorities in charge.


 Detainees visited in Israeli places of detention  

In August, ICRC delegates visited 4 interrogation centres and Nafha, Gilboa, Shattah Hasharon and Neve Tirza prisons. They also visited Salem, Benyamin, Gush Etzion and Efraim provisional detention centres as well as Ofer military detention camp. Visits were also conducted to Akko police station and Magen Hospital.

 Detainees visited in the Territories  

On the Palestinian side, ICRC delegates visited, in the Gaza Strip, the Saraya central prison and the interrogation centres of the Preventive Security, Military Intelligence (Istikhbarat) and the General Intelligence (Mukhabarat). Khan Younis police station was also visited. 

In the West Bank, ICRC delegates visited Jenin, Nablus, Daheriyeh and Jericho Central Prison and the interrogation centres of the General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) and the Preventive Security in Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus and Qalqilia as well as the police stations in Jericho, Tulkarem, Qalqilia, Salfit and Ramallah

 Family visits and messages to detainees  

The ICRC's family visit programme allows families from Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights to visit relatives held in Israeli places of detention. Facilitating these contacts is of primary importance to the ICRC.

In August, more than 16,000 people travelled to 23 Israeli places of detention and visited around 5,800 relatives held.

Another way of maintaining family links while people are detained is to exchange Red Cross Messages (RCM). In the period mentioned, almost 3,700 messages regarding family news were exchanged through the ICRC between detainees and their relatives.



 Latest distributions in the West Bank and Gaza  

During the month of August, the ICRC carried out the following relief activities:

  •  House destruction relief programme  
    4 families whose homes in Be thlehem were destroyed for lack of building permits received ICRC relief kits.

  •  H2 assistance programme  
    In the city of Hebron (zone H2 – under Israeli control), the ICRC distributed food parcels to around 2,470 families especially affected by strict closures.

 Emergency assistance
34 food parcels and hygiene kits were distributed to vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza.

Cooperation with the Palestine Red Crescent Society 

During the month of August, the ICRC participated in training sessions for PRCS emergency medical services (EMS) staff in Jenin and Gaza. These covered safer access, field coordination and map reading in the framework of PRCS preparations for the disengagement plan.


Raising awareness of the ICRC and international humanitarian law 

 Promoting respect for the civilian population  

It is the responsibility of all those involved in armed conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The ICRC supports their efforts by raising awareness about IHL and about its rol e and activities.

Throughout August, several sessions on the ICRC and the basic principles of IHL were held for IDF field cadets, checkpoint commanders and civil administrative staff.

In addition, presentations were carried out for 380 MDA youth volunteers and for overseas students in the Hebrew University.

On the Palestinian side, several sessions were held for members of the security services in the West Bank.

In Gaza, some 180 heads of tribes and families attended a session on ICRC activities and the security of ICRC staff held at the headquarters of the tribes'council.

In the framework of its summer activities, the ICRC carried out several dissemination sessions to teenagers participating in summer camps organized by the PRCS. In the Gaza Strip, it also addressed young people in summer camps organized by NGOs.

Also, sessions were carried out for PRCS staff and volunteers, members of village councils, social workers and national NGOs as well as for imams and prayer leaders in Ezariyeh village in East Jerusalem.