The Red Cross recognizes Israel's "legitimate security concerns" to keep the Gaza concentration camp sealed

April 9, 2018

In Blog News

The troubling (and rising) human toll in Gaza
The ICRC in Gaza. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Mohamed Zarandah

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is concerned about the human toll of the violence on the border of Gaza and Israel, in particular, the high number of casualties.

On 30 March, following the violent events which took place in Gaza at multiple locations along the border fence with Israel, approximately 1500 people required medical assistance, with approximately 800 injuries resulting from the use of live ammunition.

“The human toll demonstrates the importance for all sides to take all possible precautions to minimise exposure to harm and casualties among the civilian population,” said Fabrice Edouard, acting head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Gaza. “We recognize Israel’s security concerns, yet it is imperative that lethal force only be used as a last resort and when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.”

The ICRC takes note of the strong emergency response of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), also made possible through the continued ICRC facilitation with all parties of its ambulance and personnel movements.

The ICRC also provides material and technical support to the PRCS and hospitals in Gaza in their emergency response.

“The influx of casualties is also straining an over-burdened and under-resourced medical system,”  Edouard added.

To date, the ICRC has donated urgent surgical equipment, drugs and disposables, and mobility devices required for the comprehensive treatment of more than 800 patients.

As part of its work, the ICRC  acts as a neutral intermediary and maintains a confidential dialogue with all relevant authorities and security forces to try to minimise the impact of violence on civilians and preserve a humanitarian space where health care workers can operate safely.


For further information, please contact:

Suhair Zakkout (Arabic and English), ICRC Gaza, tel: +972 59 92 55 381

Graciela Lopez (Hebrew, English, French), ICRC Tel Aviv, Tel: +972 52 601 9105

Alyona Synenko (English, French, and Spanish), ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 9150