International Committee of the Red Cross

Living in exile in their own land

In Nu’man, a village of 35 Palestinian families located on Israeli territory, you can hear both a muezzin calling the faithful for prayer in East Jerusalem, and the bells tolling in the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. But these familiar sounds betray the reality of isolation that the villagers must endure. Families here have always had ties with Bethlehem or the neighbouring rural communities, if not by marriage then by work, school or local politics - Nu’man and its twin village of Al Khas share one village council. 

Red Cross deplores the deaths of two paramedics in Gaza

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) deplores the death on 3 November of two Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) paramedics in the Gaza Strip and is deeply shocked and saddened by this event. The two died from injuries received while performing their life-saving humanitarian work during a military operation of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The ICRC is appalled by this failure to protect personnel engaged in emergency medical duties. The individuals concerned and their means of transport were clearly marked with a distinctive emblem conferring the protection of the Geneva Conventions. 

Where childhood games are dangerous

Thirteen-year old Khodor will be discharged from the hospital in Marjayoun soon when his aunt comes to pick him up. Khodor’s 11-year-old brother was killed in the same incident when the boys were collecting firewood and a cluster submunition exploded next to them. Unfortunately, the story of Khodor and his brother is a familiar one today in the southern part of Lebanon. Every week the UN’s Mine Action Coordination Centre publishes new figures of civilians injured and wounded by unexploded ordnance. Since the beginning of the ceasefire on August 12 more than 140 casualties, including 20 deaths, have been reported. 

The situation in the Gaza Strip remains "extremely volatile" - Red Cross

The situation in the Gaza Strip remains extremely volatile, with the ongoing closure of the territory (including Rafah terminal), continued military operations and violent confrontations keeping the level of tension high. In this bleak and unpredictable environment, the ICRC is still widely viewed as a neutral humanitarian agency by beneficiaries and contacts and, often, as the only glimmer of hope. In the early hours of 3 August, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a new incursion into the Shoka area (south-east of Rafah), which lasted for three days. Heavy shooting and shelling reportedly led to 17 deaths and injured 43 persons in this period. 

ICRC alarmed by high number of civilian casualties and disrespect for international humanitarian law

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is alarmed by the increasing number of civilian casualties resulting from the ongoing armed conflict. In today’s military operations by the Israel Defense Forces against the village of Qana, a building sheltering civilians was directly hit. At the time of writing, the Lebanese Red Cross Society and the Lebanese Civil Defense have extracted 28 bodies from the rubble, 19 of whom are children. Issuing advance warning to the civilian population of impending attacks in no way relieves a warring party of its obligations under the rules and principles of international humanitarian law. 

ICRC: 150,000 Lebanese have taken refuge in Syria

The ICRC today distributed a total of 3,000 family parcels to both residents and displaced persons in the villages of Naqura, Alma Ech Chaab, Dhaira, Yarine, Ramiyé and Rmeish. The parcels contained enough supplies for one week, including food, household items, blankets and other essentials. First aid workers from the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) evacuated six injured people to hospital, along with 10 unaccompanied children and one elderly person. The situation was particularly alarming in Rmeish. People who had fled the village told ICRC delegates that people were drinking foul water from a pool used to collect water for irrigation. There was also a shortage of food, especially for babies. 

ICRC: Food stocks and medical supplies running low in Lebanon

Food stocks in many parts of Lebanon are running low. Water shortages are already affecting several villages in southern Lebanon owing to a lack of electricity and fuel. In certain areas, shortages of medical supplies in health-care facilities are feared in the near future. In the Tyre district, an estimated 110,000 people (20,000 families), both displaced people and residents, may soon run out of water and food. In many southern villages, dead bodies remain buried under rubble. In the city of Tyre, the number of internally displaced people is fluctuating greatly as people flee northwards. 

ICRC Bulletin No. 2 - First ICRC aid convoy reaches Tyre

The continued heavy bombing in southern Lebanon, Beirut and other areas means that the situation there remains extremely dangerous and difficult for civilians. Large numbers of people are still leaving their homes and heading north or leaving the country altogether, either by sea or by road to neighbouring Syria. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent says that it expects another 15,000 refugees over the next couple of weeks. The Lebanese Red Cross is one of the only organizations that is still able to evacuate the wounded and civilians under fire. 

ICRC calls on Israeli army to immediately leave Palestine Red Crescent premises in Nablus

During a military operation in Nablus that began on the night of 18 July, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) occupied the premises of the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), blocking the entrance and hindering the movement of ambulances, patients and staff. This action shows grave disregard by the IDF for its obligation to respect and protect medical units. Since 19 July, the ICRC has repeatedly raised this issue with the Israeli authorities and called on the IDF to immediately leave the premises of the PRCS. The PRCS runs emergency medical services and a rehabilitation centre for disabled children on its premises in Nablus. 

As civilians bear the brunt of the armed conflict, the ICRC steps up its humanitarian action in Lebanon

One week after the start of the latest armed hostilities in Lebanon, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is extremely concerned about the grave consequences that military action is still having on the civilian population. Hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded, and it remains difficult to organize medical evacuations and to maintain health services. All across the country, large numbers of people are fleeing the conflict zones in dangerous circumstances. There has also been widespread destruction of public infrastructure. The first emergency supplies from the ICRC reached Lebanon on 18 July.