Red Cross urges action to lift Palestinians' plight

"The Palestinian population has effectively become a hostage to the conflict," says ICRC's head of operations for the Middle East.

December 13, 2007 16:05
1 minute read.


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Lack of essentials such as medicines, food and water means people in the Palestinian territories are finding it increasingly difficult to live normal and dignified lives, the Red Cross said Thursday. Medical facilities and water supplies are increasingly fragile in the Gaza Strip, while economic and social life in the West Bank is severely restricted, the International Committee of the Red Cross said. Gaza has been largely isolated since June when Hamas seized control by force, triggering the virtual closure of its borders with Israel and Egypt. "The measures imposed by Israel come at an enormous humanitarian cost, leaving the people living under occupation with just enough to survive, but not enough to live a normal and dignified life," said Beatrice Megevand Roggo, ICRC's head of operations for the Middle East. Ordinary people were paying the price for the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, she said, adding that the violent dispute between the Hamas and Fatah factions was contributing to the problem. "The Palestinian population has effectively become a hostage to the conflict," Megevand Roggo said. ICRC appealed for "immediate political steps to be taken to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the West Bank," including Israel easing travel restrictions. The agency also said Palestinian factions should "stop targeting civilian areas and endangering the lives of civilians."

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