COTABATO CITY (November 8, 2023) — Two vehicles of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) accompanied the convoy of four ambulances that transported patients from Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City who arrived at the Rafah crossing at the border with Egypt on Monday, November 6.
William Schomburg, the head of the ICRC’s office in Gaza said, “It is an immense relief to know that these patients are safe and will receive urgent medical care.” “I can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is that hospitals, medical personnel, and patients are protected amid this violence,” he added.
The ICRC disclosed that there are thousands of critically injured people in Gaza and stressed that it is an obligation under international humanitarian law to spare them from harm.
As the humanitarian situation in Gaza is rapidly deteriorating, the ICRC urgently calls on the parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law and do everything in their power to avoid any harm to medical facilities, vehicles, and personnel.
ICRC said that thousands of critically wounded civilians can no longer access hospitals that are increasingly unable to function due to damage and a lack of supplies.
“Accepting violence against healthcare facilities, now when their role is so critical, will come at an unacceptable cost in human life,” Mr Schomburg added. “The wounded and sick must be protected in all circumstances,” he said.
The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate that stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other violence, doing everything it can to protect their lives and dignity and to relieve their suffering, often alongside its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners. (Tu Alid Alfonso, BangsamoroToday/BMN)