PRCS responds to humanitarian emergency in Rafah

On 9 October 2003, at approximately 10:30pm, the Israeli Army invaded Tal As-sulttan and the Rafah border area with Egypt. Israeli army tanks and bulldozers supported by fighter helicopters entered from Zu’rob Circle through Al-Qasas region in Yabna destroying and damaging homes, cars, streets and just about anything that got in the way before redeploying to the outer perimeters of Rafah at 11:00pm on 11 October 2003.

The consequences of this invasion resulted in many casualties, destruction and damage to infrastructure and the displacement of 1000-2000 individuals.

Eight deaths and 80 wounded; many are still in critical condition. 107 homes were completely destroyed, leaving 187 families homeless. 20 homes partially destroyed, leaving 35 families without safe shelter. The destruction of the water and sanitation network, in addition to electricity and phone lines.

Many streets were dug up by the bulldozers, causing difficulty in reaching casualties and families requiring assistance.

PRCS’ Disaster Management Unit Responds

Raised the response capacity of the Emergency Medical Services and Disaster Management to maximum level for the Rafah district. Emergency Medical Services, Disaster Preparedness and Volunteers were dispatched to the area. Established a field hospital at the Al-Shabora area. Distributed mobile medical backpacks to PRCS medical volunteers.

Coordination with the Palestine Civil Defense and Rafah

Municipality on 10 October in order to distribute gallons of drinking water and to set up a water station in case there is an additional need. The Disaster Preparedness Unit has provided a 10000-liter plastic water tank with a set of water taps. The PRCS warehouse in Rafah has prepared itself to distribute urgently needed items for the homeless families.

Coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the distribution of the following items, which has begun today, 14 October 2003:

Tents, blankets, mattresses, hygiene kits, kitchen kits. The continuing Israeli Army invasions into Palestinian cities, towns and refugee camps and its policy of collective punishment has resulted in severe humanitarian consequences in terms of civilian deaths, injuries, internal displacement of whole communities, in addition to the razing and confiscation of lands, all of which constitute grave violations of International Humanitarian Law.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society calls upon the international community and States Parties to the Geneva Conventions to immediately intervene for the protection of the Palestinian population.

For more information please contact Press Office at: phone: +972 2 240 6515/6/7, E-mail: