16 May 2017

Jerusalem – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is suspending its activities in Ramallah as of today and until further notice following serious threats against its staff and premises.

On Tuesday 16.05.17, individuals broke into the Ramallah office and threatened the integrity and safety of the ICRC staff present. The ICRC colleagues were also violently called upon to stop their work and leave the office.

“Such behaviors are simply unacceptable and should cease immediately. Similar incidents have occurred against ICRC staff and offices in the West Bank over the past few weeks”, said Christian Cardon, Head of ICRC Mission for Jerusalem and the West Bank.
“It is now time to let us work and ensure the respect of ICRC at all times”, added Cardon.

Visiting the detainees on hunger strike, following up on their conditions and treatment, and the respect of their rights is a priority for the ICRC. The ICRC has scaled up the frequency of the visits to Israeli places of detention in light of the ongoing hunger strike and delivered more than 1’400 oral greetings.

ICRC has been working in Ramallah since 1972 and provides regular services to the families of detainees.

Since 1968, there have been 3.5 million family visits. Last year alone, the ICRC ensured 114,000 family visits in total to detainees held in Israeli detention facilities.

For further information, please contact:
Nadia Dibsy (Arabic, English & French), ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 91 48
Jesus Serrano (English, French and Spanish), ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 9150
Suhair Zakkout (Arabic and English), ICRC Gaza, tel: +972 59 92 55 381