Friday, January 09, 2009

Israel prevents Red Cross help in Gaza

This is unbelievably cruel and absolutely immoral and illegal. And these people are the native inhabitants of the area. From Firedoglake here (includes a video).

[C]onditions in Gaza continue to get unbelievably worse. So bad in fact, that the Red Cross which “normally conducts confidential negotiations with warring parties” issued a very strong statement today protesting Israel’s:

"unacceptable" delays in letting rescue workers reach three Gaza City homes hit by shelling where they eventually found 15 dead and 18 wounded, including young children too weak to stand.

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross said the Israeli army refused rescuers permission to reach the site in the Zeitoun neighborhood for four days. Ambulances could not get to the neighborhood because the Israeli army had erected large earthen barriers that blocked access…

Eventually, rescuers from the international Red Cross and Palestine Red Crescent received permission to go into the shelled houses on Wednesday, four days after the buildings were hit by Israeli shells…

The rescue team "found four small children next to their dead mothers in one of the houses. They were too weak to stand up on their own. One man was also found alive, too weak to stand up," the statement said. "In all, there were at least 12 corpses lying on mattresses" in one of the houses, it added.

The Geneva-based organization said the children and the wounded had to be transported by donkey cart to ambulances.

"The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded," the international Red Cross said. "Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded."…

The organization said it believes "in this instance, the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded."

[Not my ellipsis punctuation, which you know is fastidious.]

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