GENEVA — The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories following the attack by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on the prison in Jerichoand the abduction of civilians by Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip. The civilians abducted included humanitarian workers and an ICRC delegate, who was later released.
While military operations were still under way in Jericho, the ICRC reminded the Israeli authorities of their obligations under international humanitarian law. Detainees who are not participating in hostilities are protected under this body of law and are not military targets.
The ICRC regularly visited the people detained by the Palestinian Authority at Jerichoprison and expects to be given access to all detainees seized by the Israeli authorities during yesterday’s operations. The ICRC also conducts regular visits to people detained by the Israeli authorities.
According to the ICRC team in Jericho, ambulances of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) had difficulty in reaching the scene and evacuating the wounded. Throughout Tuesday afternoon, the ICRC coordinated with the Palestinian authorities, the prison authorities, the PRCS and the IDF in an attempt to facilitate medical evacuations. The ICRC stands ready to support the medical system should new needs arise.
Strict security measures have been taken in response to the current situation, but the ICRC remains present in the occupied Palestinian territories and remains committed to pursuing its humanitarian action.