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Source: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
16 August 2005

Gaza Strip: ICRC resumes field operations

The ICRC today returned to its field activities in the Gaza Strip after a temporary suspension following the 7 August shooting at its office in Khan Yunis.

The organization's decision to resume field work came after security guarantees regarding its operations in the Gaza Strip were issued by the Palestinian National Authority and others concerned.

While carrying out its regular activities, the ICRC stands ready to respond, within the framework of its mandate, to
emergencies or other situations requiring humanitarian action that may arise during the Israeli disengagement. It will closely monitor events as the disengagement plan is implemented, its priority being to ensure that the Palestinian population has access to essential goods and services.

The ICRC has worked out contingency plans in conjunction with the Palestine Red Crescent Society and other humanitarian organizations and with the Palestinian and Israeli authorities. As part of these preparations, it is supporting a mobile medical post being operated by the Palestine Red Crescent in the southern Gaza Strip to cover possible needs in areas which may be temporarily isolated. The organization is also working closely with the Red Crescent's emergency medical services to facilitate access for their ambulances if and when needed.

For the moment, the ICRC has pre-positioned limited stocks of food and other supplies in various parts of the Gaza Strip and has provided the Palestinian Ministry of Health with medical supplies sufficient to treat 200 injured people in hospital.

The ICRC has been working in Israel and the Occupied Territories without interruption since 1967 on the basis of its mandate under international humanitarian law, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention.

For further information, please contact:
Steven Anderson, ICRC Jerusalem, tel. +972 2582 8845
or +972 57 773 5235
Iyad Nasr, ICRC Gaza, tel. +972 59 9603 015
Uri Masad, ICRC Tel Aviv, tel. + 972 352 45286 or
+972 57 3477527
Nada Doumani, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 2590 or +41 79 251 93 18

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