Aid groups plan to return to PA areas

"We will see how things go and then, depending on that, we will go back."

March 16, 2006 00:38
1 minute read.
palestinian gaza kid in shadow of wall 88

gaza kid 88. (photo credit: )


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Western aid organizations are keeping a wary eye on the Gaza Strip and West Bank before deciding when to send back their workers. All of their foreign employees based in Gaza, including those of the Red Cross, have pulled out and are now in Jerusalem. The UN has withdrawn its foreign employees from the West Bank as well. "We will see how things go and then, depending on that, we will go back," said Pilar Vanegas, spokeswoman for the Palestine mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). A Swiss ICRC employee was kidnapped from his office in Gaza Tuesday, but released hours later. Nine other foreigners were also kidnapped by angry Palestinians after British and US monitors abandoned the Jericho jail leading to Tuesday's IDF raid. Despite the flurry of kidnappings, David Shearer, head of the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a UN agency that coordinates among all the different aid organizations, said that all the agencies plan to return to their posts. "We're letting emotions calm down and once they do, we'll look at redeploying again," he said. "We didn't think it was wise to keep everyone out there." Grant Leaity, program coordinator in Gaza for Medicins Sans Frontiers, said his team plans to return after the weekend. "

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