The attack on the Israeli family in Hebron area on 13 November – as well as others targeting or affecting civilians over the past six weeks – is tragic and unacceptable. Deliberate or indiscriminate attacks against civilians, by whoever, can never be justified.
Further to this incident, a lot of attention, however, has focused on the alleged failure by the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to provide due care to the victims. Impartiality is the cornerstone of any true humanitarian action, and the ICRC takes very seriously any reports to the contrary.
The PRCS has immediately provided factual accounts, firmly rejected these allegations, and unequivocally reaffirmed its commitment to impartial response. The PRCS’ record of principled and strictly humanitarian action is uncontested and well recognized. The ICRC assessment is that the PRCS operates with professionalism and in full respect of the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (RCRC), including impartiality. Any question and concern that may require clarification or correction is examined and addressed accordingly, without complacency, by the ICRC, with the national societies of the RCRC Movement, and addressed directly with the concerned authorities.
What we call on for now is for all to act responsibly and better support both national societies. That includes refraining from making serious accusations against either National Society that do not take into account the facts on the ground. The ICRC is determined to ensure that the sick and injured persons receive impartial, professional and timely help.
Both Societies have done outstanding work since the start of October, with nearly 8,900 emergency interventions carried out by the PRCS and 170 carried out by the MDA.
ICRC Head of Delegation in Israel and the Occupied Territories
Jacques De Maio