MEA – Today, Sunday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that residents of Gaza and Israel are witnessing an escalation that has not been witnessed in years.
In a statement, the committee urged the parties to end this escalation and to ensure better access to the affected people in the Gaza Strip.
On the sidelines of the United Nations Security Council meeting today, Sunday, the committee called on the participating leaders to exert maximum influence and pressure to stop hostilities between Gaza and Israel.
“We have never seen an escalation of this intensity before, as air strikes continue in the densely populated Gaza Strip, and rockets reach large cities in Israel, and as a result, we see children losing their lives,” said Robert Mardini, director-general of the ICRC.
“Access to hospitals and other vital infrastructure in Gaza has become extremely complicated due to the constant airstrikes and the massive damage to roads and buildings,” he added.
He stressed the need for the influential and active parties on the ground to work to stop this round of escalation, saying, “The rules and laws are clear and unambiguous: the protection of civilians must be guaranteed at all times, but this is not what we are witnessing today.”
He indicated that the constant bombardment is preventing the ICRC and other humanitarian organizations to assist those affected in Gaza.
“There is no time to waste, so we call on all relevant parties to take the initiative with the aim of protecting civilians, stopping escalation and allowing us to help people. It is time to intensify our efforts and strengthen our response,” Mardini said.
He noted that the ICRC is closely monitoring the humanitarian consequences of the fighting, and is communicating with both sides about the need to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.
The committee indicated that it had provided stretchers, hospital beds and medical equipment to treat 150 seriously wounded people in Gaza, and it provided support to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, and ICRC teams also visited people affected by rocket attacks in central Israel.