ICRC describes "difficult" Israeli situation

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross has said rocket fire from the Gaza Strip is making life "very difficult" for an Israeli town.

This content was published on January 14, 2009 - 15:14

Jakob Kellenberger, who leads the Swiss-run Geneva-based organisation, visited the southern Israeli town of Sderot on Wednesday as part of a three-day trip to the area. Palestinian rockets regularly target the town.

He described the situation as "very traumatic for children" in the town and "very difficult for the residents who have lived under the threat of rocket fire not just for days or weeks, but for years".

He added that he was in "shock" following Tuesday's visit to the Shifa hospital in Gaza city, but said there were no shortages of medical supplies at present.

There was however a "dramatic" humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and it was essential for both sides of the conflict to respect humanitarian law and protect civilians from attacks, he noted.

The ICRC has a team of 14 expatriates and 60 Palestinian staff working very closely with the Palestine Red Crescent Society in the Gaza Strip.

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