International Humanitarian law

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06/12/2023 | Article

Statement by the IFRC at the Follow-up to the International Humanitarian Conference for the Civilian Population of Gaza

Excellencies, The human suffering in Gaza is a permanent stain on our shared humanity. A month since we last met, we face a collective moral failure to forge political and peaceful solutions to end this conflict, release all hostages, protect civilians and civilian infrastructures. On the ground, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Gaza and the Egyptian Red Crescent across the border work tirelessly to save lives and provide medical aid, food, and relief. The Egyptian Red Crescent has delivered nearly 3000 trucks of medical, food and relief supplies into Gaza while the Palestinian Red Crescent Society continues to provide emergency health services and coordinate the receipt and delivery of aid. They are operating under constant severe restrictions and life-threatening danger. As we sadly know, the Palestine Red Crescent Society just lost another volunteer this week and a staff member was injured. The IFRC is supporting these efforts. In partnership with ECHO, we have delivered 890 tons of supplies through our humanitarian air bridge for Gaza. Let’s be unequivocal--no amount of humanitarian assistance or funding alone will stop the destruction of Gaza and its people without protection and a political solution. In this darkest hour, we call on you to turn these urgent asks into powerful actions: De-escalation - Prioritize concrete solutions to stop the bloodshed and establish lasting peace. This will allow scaling up of aid efforts so that hospitals, ambulances, water facilities, and waste management can function. Protection- Ensure neutral, independent humanitarian action with full respect of international humanitarian law. Protect civilians and healthcare workers. Access - Grant unhindered and safe access to reach all parts of Gaza. Thank you.

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09/11/2023 | Speech

Statement by the IFRC Secretary General at France’s International Humanitarian Conference on the Civilian Population in Gaza

Excellencies, No words adequately capture the depth of human suffering in Gaza. In this conflict, civilians, particularly children and women and healthcare workers pay the heaviest burden, some losing their lives, casting a lasting moral shadow upon us all for generations to come. This suffering must end. Now. Israel has suffered heartbreaking human loss, including the taking of hostages which must end now. Magen David Adom in Israel is providing vital assistance, ambulance and health services. The Palestine Red Crescent Society is working around the clock with all affected communities in Gaza to provide vital humanitarian assistance and psychosocial support. They do so fearlessly with unseen dedication in extremely dangerous situations. The ICRC is playing a critical role, and we are coordinating closely as a Movement. Today I am here with Dr Younis Alkhatib, President of the Palestine Red Crescent Society. PRCS is the leading Emergency Medical Service provider and is central to the receipt, delivery and coordination of aid in Gaza. However, they operate under constant threat to their lives, lack of access and inadequate relief and medical supplies. In these difficult situations, the role of the local actors like the Red Cross and Red Crescent becomes central as they have the trust of the communities and of the authorities. We see this in the work of the Egyptian Red Crescent as well as in the preparatory work of National Societies in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and more. The IFRC is supporting and coordinating these national efforts while working hard to augment their capacities as well as partnering with ECHO for a humanitarian air bridge for Gaza. Today we call for three things and ask for your influence to– Protection to ensure neutral, independent humanitarian action of our member National Societies at local level as per IHL. Access to ensure unhindered and safe access for National Societies to reach all parts of Gaza including the north. Assistance to scale up aid efforts unconditionally so that hospitals, ambulances, water facilities, and waste management can function. No matter how dark the hour, we must support one another and be a collective beacon of hope. Thank you.

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08/11/2023 | Article

The IFRC calls for safe and unhindered access across the Gaza Strip and the release of hostages

A month since the onsetof violence across Israel and Palestine, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) calls forsafe and unhindered access across the Gaza Stripand the release of hostages seized during the conflict. It also calls upon the diplomatic community to accelerate efforts towards a longer-term peace agreement and a massive scaling up of humanitarian assistance, including fuel. The Magen David Adom (MDA) in Israel and the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, both members of the IFRC network, have been responding since the beginning of the hostilities. Staff and volunteers of both National Societies have been at the forefront of humanitarian efforts. And they have seen the violence firsthand. Many have lost friends and family members. Seven members, three of MDA and four of PRCS, have lost their own lives while helping others; many more have been injured. The IFRC repeats its calls for all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law and immediately cease indiscriminate attacks. That means the protection of civilians, healthcare workers and facilities,humanitarian first responders, the immediate and unconditional release of hostages, rapid and unimpeded passage for humanitarian aid, including fuel, throughout the entire Gaza Strip and safe and unhindered access for humanitarian workers. Civilians, humanitarian aid workers, hospitals and ambulances are not targets and must be protected. It is not possible to evacuate patients and those who care for themfromhospitals; we ask for an end to demands to the contrary. The last month has been the most devastating period of violence ever across Israel and Palestine, killing around twelve thousand people and gravely injuring many more, mostly women and children. The siege of Gaza has caused immense suffering to more than two million people. Both the violence and the siege need to end. We call on all parties forsafe and unhindered access across the Gaza Stripand the release of hostages. Now.

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