Israel and the Occupied Territories: Hospitals risk turning into morgues without electricity; hostages must be released immediately

“Killing civilians and ill- treatment are prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. In addition, the Conventions demand that the wounded and sick are cared for. People detained must be treated humanely and with dignity. Hostage- taking is prohibited under international humanitarian law and hostages should be immediately released unharmed.” – Mirjana Spoljaric, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (Graphics by BMN/BangsamoroToday/Photo by ICRC)

GENEVA (October 13, 2023) – The human misery caused by this escalation is abhorrent, and I implore the sides to reduce the suffering of civilians.

As Gaza loses power, hospitals lose power, putting newborns in incubators and elderly patients on oxygen at risk. Kidney dialysis stops, and X-rays can’t be taken. Without electricity, hospitals risk turning into morgues.

Families in Gaza are already having trouble accessing clean water. No parent wants to be forced to give a thirsty child dirty water.

At the same time Israeli families are worried sick about loved ones taken hostage. The taking of hostages is prohibited under international humanitarian law, and anyone being held should be immediately released.

We are now in contact with Hamas and Israeli officials as part of efforts on this issue. As a neutral intermediary we stand ready to conduct humanitarian visits; facilitate communication between hostages and family members; and to facilitate any eventual release.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a neutral, impartial and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate that stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

ICRC 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.

(A statement from Fabrizio Carboni, the regional director for the Near and Middle East for the International Committee of the Red Cross.) Graphics by BMN/BangsamoroToday, Photo by ICRC.

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