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Friday, January 30, 2009

Another NGO denial

I emailed to the ICRC, asking about aid trucks being hijacked in Gaza:
I am a news blogger trying to confirm stories about Hamas hijacking aid trucks in Gaza and distributing the aid to their own members. The UNRWA has denied that this has happened to their aid convoys, despite press reports to the contrary. However, there have been more reports of aid meant for the Palestinian Red Crescent being forcibly taken by Hamas over the past year (links upon request.)

Can you confirm that this has ever happened, and if so, how often? if it has happened, has the ICRC ever condemned Hamas for doing this?
The reply I received (three days later):
The ICRC carefully follows up and monitors the humanitarian assistance it
brings into Gaza, as it does in other conflict situations. It makes sure
that the aid reaches those who are most in need of it - in the case of
Gaza, wounded persons in hospitals and civilians affected by the conflict.

The ICRC does also sometimes transport humanitarian assistance for the
Palestine Red Crescent Society, which is delivered directly to the society
in Gaza. So far, no incidents such as those you mention have been reported
with aid channelled through the ICRC.

You may find more detailed information about the assistance the ICRC has
been able to bring into Gaza on our website,
http://www.icrc.org/Web/Eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/palestine?OpenDocument.

With best regards,
I didn't realize that the ICRC acts independently of the Pal Red Crescent in Gaza, so I probably didn't phrase it correctly. It seems that writing the Red Crescent directly would be a waste of time.