Bern, Press releases, 15.01.2009

The FDFA condemns in the strongest terms the shelling by the Israeli army of the UNRWA headquarters and the Al-Quds Hospital, which is run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in the Gaza Strip. A warehouse containing relief supplies of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and a media centre were also hit during Thursday’s military operations.

The buildings, including the pharmacy of the Al-Quds hospital, were partly destroyed and at least three people were wounded. At the time of the attack, there were about  one hundred patients and medical personnel in the buildings as well as hundreds of civilians seeking refuge. In these circumstances, the provision of humanitarian aid and medical care was impossible. Since the military operations in the Gaza Strip began, there have been several instances of schools and humanitarian facilities coming under Israeli bombardment.

The FDFA emphasises that attacks against humanitarian organisations, hospitals and medical personnel are violations of international humanitarian law. The FDFA reiterates its appeal to all conflicting parties to halt the hostilities immediately, and both to implement and adhere to the resolution of the UN Security Council without delay.  

Furthermore, the FDFA repeats its demand that an independent commission of inquiry be set up immediately to investigate allegations of violations of international humanitarian law committed in the war zone. 

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

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