ICRC: “Deliberate attacks on civilians must stop”

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is very concerned about the recent attacks on civilians in Israel and the occupied and autonomous Palestinian territories.

In the past few weeks, a number of violent acts prohibited by international humanitarian law have caused death and injury among civilians, including many children. Today, the Israeli and Palestinian populations are living in fear and insecurity. The ICRC is alarmed by the impact on these civilians of the growing violence.

The Geneva Conventions prohibit targeted attacks on, and the killing of, individuals neither taking direct part in the hostilities nor immediately endangering human life. Acts such as the recent targeted killings carried out by Israeli forces in the occupied and autonomous Palestinian territories must therefore stop.
The Geneva Conventions prohibit deliberate attacks against civilians such as recent bomb attacks in Israel. All acts intended to spread terror among the civilian population are in clear violation of international humanitarian law and must therefore stop.

The ICRC again calls on all parties to exercise restraint and urges all those actively involved in the conflict to respect the rules and principles of international humanitarian law under all circumstances. In particular, civilians must not be the target of direct attacks.

The ICRC reminds all those involved in the current conflict that the Fourth Geneva Convention remains fully applicable to the occupied and autonomous territories. The Convention’s provisions are intended to make life under occupation as safe and normal as possible. They therefore lay down an entitlement for the civilian population to specific facilities and services such as medical care and education as well as the facilitation of employment.

The ICRC also reminds all States party to the Geneva Conventions of their obligation to ensure respect for these internationally binding rules.

The ICRC remains committed to pursuing its humanitarian work in Israel and the occupied and autonomous territories, in close cooperation with the Magen David Adom and the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

More information:

In Jerusalem: Vincent Bernard, tel. ++972 2 582 88 45; 582 84 41, or Liv Ronglan, tel. ++972 52 956 371; in Gaza: Iyad Nasr, tel. ++972 8 282-8874; ++972 59 77 19 48; in Tel Aviv: Uriel Masad, tel. ++972 3 524 5286; ++972 64 68 14 55; ICRC Geneva: Florian Westphal, tel. ++41 22 730 29 30; ++41 79 217 32 26