Red Cross calls on Palestinians to protect non-combatants

Christopher Harnisch, Head of Israel RC: "All those involved are obligated to protect people who are not taking direct part in the fighting."

red cross in gaza ap 298 (photo credit: AP [file])
red cross in gaza ap 298
(photo credit: AP [file])
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said over the weekend that it was "deeply concerned about the consequences of the recent armed violence in the Gaza Strip." Twenty-five people were killed and more than 175 wounded in clashes between Palestinian factions. Since January 25, the fighting has left at least 50 dead and more than 200 wounded. Many victims have been by-standers and children. "All those involved have an obligation to respect and protect people who are not or no longer taking direct part in the fighting," said Christoph Harnisch, head of the ICRC delegation to Israel and Palestinian Authority-controlled territories. "By-standers must not suffer the effects of violence." The ICRC said anyone engaged in acts of armed violence must abide by the principles of humanity, including the duty to protect and enable the work of personnel, vehicles and facilities that provide emergency medical services. "Such services must function effectively and without hindrance at all times in order to limit the suffering caused by the fighting," the ICRC said.