ICRC says Gaza peace doomed without diplomacy

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday that any peace in Gaza is unlikely to last without a long-term political solution.

This content was published on February 26, 2009 - 17:04

"Humanitarian action can be no substitute for an honest and courageous peace process involving all states, political authorities and organized armed groups that can influence the situation," Jakob Kellenberger said ahead of a conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

"[Reconstruction] is unlikely to succeed unless there is a prospect of a lasting peace."

Kellenberger called for sustainable economic development and an end to a blockade that has restricted the movement of people and goods into Gaza.

He also said Palestinian factions had to stop targeting Israel's civilians.

The Geneva-based ICRC employs 85 people in Gaza. The organisation reported that January's conflict between Hamas and Israel had destroyed or damaged around 4,700 houses and left tens of thousands of people homeless.

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