The Red Cross has resumed patient escorts to the Gaza border after it temporarily halted operations after its convoy came under fire earlier this week, the head of its Gaza office said on Thursday, describing the incident as “deeply alarming” and calling for safety guarantees, Reuters reports.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, a neutral organisation based in Geneva, has escorted patients and freed hostages out of Gaza since the Israel-Palestine conflict began more than a month ago and is protected under international humanitarian law.
William Schomburg, the head of the ICRC delegation in Gaza told Reuters by video link. “We took a pause yesterday,” he added, saying it had resumed patient transfers from Gaza City to the Egypt border crossing on Thursday.
Israel has bombarded Gaza repeatedly in response to a cross-border Hamas raid on southern Israel on 7 October, in which gunmen killed 1,400 people and took about 240 hostages. Palestinian officials said 10,812 Gaza residents had been killed as of Thursday, about 40 per cent of them children.
Asked in the same interview if the ICRC had any staff fatalities in the Israel-Palestine conflict, he said a colleague had been missing for weeks, without elaborating.
Schomburg voiced alarm about overcrowding in cramped shelters where hundreds of thousands of Gazans have fled to, especially as many thousands more flee south, hoping to avoid the brunt of Israel’s ground invasion.
Source : MEMO