GENEVA, Jan 7 (KUNA) -- The International Federation of the Red Cross and
Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on Wednesday expressed extreme concern over the
severely hampered humanitarian work of the Palestine Red Crescent Society
"The PRCS is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies (IFRC) and spearheads the dangerous but critical
life-saving work of emergency medical evacuations on the ground. Its ability
to work safely is being severely undermined due to the growing number of
violent incidents that its staff and volunteers are facing," said the IFRC.
The IFRC added that most recently, three PRCS medical teams and at least
four ambulances have been caught in the crossfire.
In one typical incident on the evening of the 05 Jan, a PRCS ambulance
which had been requested by the Israeli military to remove injured people from
a location inside Gaza, was stopped, the ambulance was fired up and the
medical team was forced to return to base without completing its humanitarian
Furthermore, said the IFRC, on 4 January, a PRCS volunteer, Arafa Abdul
Dayem, was killed while on duty, after an air strike hit a location in
Jabaliya. Two other medical personnel were badly injured in this incident.
Because of such incidents, said the IFRC, the PRCS has been forced to
evacuate several of its premises in areas where humanitarian needs are often
The PRCS, supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),
is working hard to receive the necessary clearances from the Israeli
authorities for its ambulances and medical teams to evacuate the dead and
Latest incidents indicate, however, that this mechanism is totally
"Such deterioration in the situation significantly worsens the plight for
both the wounded and PRCS staff," said the IFRC.
The IFRC, together with the ICRC, called on all sides to do their utmost to
ensure the safety of PRCS staff and personnel as they carry out essential
life-saving humanitarian duties in the midst of the ongoing conflict.
Furthermore, the IFRC further appeals to the donor community and its member
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to take note of the PRCS appeal for
emergency funding which it urgently needs in order to continue its
humanitarian mission for the people of Gaza at this time. (end)
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