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Red Cross: 22 staff killed in Middle East since October

A blowing flag with the emblem of the Red Cross on top of the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC in Geneva, Switzerland
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (pictured here the ICRC HQ in Geneva) has delievered almost 200,000 tonnes of humanitarian supplies to Gaza since October 2023. Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The Red Cross and Red Crescent network in Gaza and Israel has lost 22 staff members since last October, the Swiss Red Cross (SRC) said on Wednesday.

The deceased were part of the Palestinian Red Crescent and the Israeli Magen David Adom organisation, the SRC said on the occasion of World Red Cross Day.

As part of its support efforts in the Gaza Strip, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been able to bring almost 200,000 tonnes of humanitarian supplies to the area.

+ Read more: our coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian war

The circumstances in which the Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations provide aid in war and crisis zones are often dangerous. This is particularly the case when parties to a conflict disregard their responsibility to comply with international humanitarian law, the SRC said. Aid workers can pay a high price.

Aid organisations need unhindered, fast and safe access to people in need in order to be able to provide humanitarian aid, the SRC continued. Humanitarian aid must not become a pawn of political or military interests or be manipulated or misused, it said.

World Red Cross Day on May 8 commemorates the legacy of the founding father of the Red Cross idea, Swiss man Henry Dunant. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was born out of a desire to provide aid to the wounded on battlefields, without discrimination.

Adapted from German by DeepL/dkk/dos

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