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Red Cross official: ‘There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza’


By Yehonathan Tommer

TEL AVIV – Contrary to the claims of human rights groups, Red Cross deputy director for the Gaza Strip Mathilde Redmatn has surprisingly said “there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but there is a problem of maintaining infrastructures and access to goods.”

“Despite the eased closure and a partial lifting of export bans in the wake of the (Turkish Marmara) flotilla incident, continued restrictions on the movement of people and difficulties in importing building materials has hampered sustainable economic recovery and dashed any hope of leading a normal and dignified life”, Redmatn said in a recent interview to the website of the Israel Defense Forces spokesman.

“Israel has the legitimate right to protect its population. But this right should be balanced with the right of 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip,” she says attributing the problem to the interaction between two peoples, “one living under closure and one living under daily rocket fire, which violates international law.”

“Our goal is to ensure the well-being of the civilian population,” Redmatn says. “We understand and recognise Israel’s right to security but it needs to maintain a balance with the right of Palestinians living in Gaza to a living and to proper medical care, for which Hamas is also responsible towards its own citizens.”

According to Redmatn the flotilla produced incomplete changes in Israeli policy. “More goods enter, but there is still room for improvement with respect to exports and the passage of people.”

“Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip is against international law because it is directed at civilians,” she says. “We conduct confidential or bilateral dialogue with Hamas on the matter. As time passes, the dialogue also develops.”

Relations with the IDF have improved, says Redmatn. The Israeli military understands the Red Cross mandate and the two coordinate the daily entry of goods into Gaza and the entry and exit of people. “But the time required to cross the border is still long and needs to be improved.”


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Yehonathan Tommer Posted by on Apr 21 2011. Filed under More News, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

4 Comments for “Red Cross official: ‘There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza’”

  1. Red Cross has never heard of a “Mathilde Redmatn”. There is no Red Cross “deputy director” in Gaza. More specific: the Red Cross doesn’t operate in Gaza at all. This is done by the Red Cresent Society. And a Red Cross employee would NEVER give an exclusive ‘interview’ for the IDF (website), or any other occupying army.

    Don’t degrade your organization with this malicious propaganda.

    • No, Mathilde does exist according to ICRC and the Palestine-Police webpage: http://www.police.ps/en/index.php?mod=article&cat=PoliceNews&article=696

      …and here is official ICRC webpage re-stating that “all sides” must abide by international law — agreeing with Mathilde as she noted Hamas’ rockets are violations: http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/interview/israel-palestine-interview-281208.htm (The 3rd/4th Geneva Conv’s put the blood of Arabs who Hamas uses as Human Shields clearly on Hamas’ hands, but not on the hands of IDF soldiers unless you can prove they weren’t targeting Hamas or other combatants when Hamas’ Human Shields got killed…and the burden-of-proof is on those accusing IDF soldiers.)

      You & “mountain birds” below are brazen liars to claim she doesn’t even exist, you’re a DISGRACE & even the normally obtuse & dishonest anti-Israel propaganda (historic revisionism) machine is usually more careful and sly that your OBVIOUS lying that she doesn’t even exist, or that ICRC doesn’t also blame Hamas. As for mtn bird pointing out the plight of Gazans, perhaps if their elected Hamas officials tried building up their cities instead of tearing-down Israel’s, after breaking Arafat’s/Fatah’s treaty’s, Gazans wouldn’t be suffering from both Israel’s counter-assaults (right to self-defense) &
      Hamas’ executions-without-trial for “treason,” using their own people as Human Shields, etc.

  2. The article regarding Red Cross: there is no a humanitarian crisis and Mathilde Redmatn Red Cross Official is a fake. I called the ICRC Headquarters and they could not find a Mathilde Redmatn in their directory and said there is no such title as “Deputy Director of Gaza”.”

    I reported this to other leading Organizations associated with the Red Cross to request they send out a statement in response to that article.

    Please share this with others and let the ICRC know that misleading reports are not acceptable.

    ICRC contact info here:
    http://www.icrc.org/eng/who-we-are/contacts/index.jsp

    Below are operational updates from the International Committee of the Red Cross Website regarding Gaza’s current condition.

    The ICRC in Israel and the occupied territories
    http://www.icrc.org/eng/where-we-work/middle-east/israel-occupied-territories/index.jsp

    Israel and the occupied territories: ICRC maintains humanitarian effort
    3-18-2011 Operational Update

    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/update/2011/palestine-israel-update-2011-03-18.htm

    Geneva/Jerusalem (ICRC) – Large numbers of people living in the Gaza Strip remain at risk of contracting water-borne disease because of insufficient and poorly maintained wastewater treatment systems.

    Only long-term development of the deteriorated water and sanitation sector can help reduce the risk to public health and the environment, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said today in the run-up to World Water Day (22 March).

    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/news-release/2011/palestine-israel-2011-03-21.htm
    3-21-2011 NEWS RELEASE

    TV news footage – Gazans struggle for access to clean water
    http://www.icrcvideonewsroom.org/content/index.asp?ID=20od9y0.n2256072486653y5.64&category=Latest%20News,%20Middle%20East

    Every day, thousands of litres of untreated wastewater are dumped into the Wadi Gaza River. The polluted water snakes through urban areas on its way to the sea, jeopardizing the health of the many families living on its banks, contaminating the coastline and endangering biodivers…
    http://www.palestinercs.org/news_details.aspx?nid=844

    Health care in Gaza reaches all-time low
    6-15-2010 Photo gallery

    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/photo-gallery/gaza-health-photos-2010-06-15.htm#

    The closure imposed on Gaza three years ago and the effects of Israel’s military operation in the winter of 2009 are crippling both industry and agriculture and stifling employment. Today, there are major humanitarian concerns regarding health issues, water and sanitation conditions and the level of unemployment and poverty.

    The closure imposed on the Gaza Strip is about to enter its fourth year, choking off any real possibility of economic development. Gazans continue to suffer from unemployment, poverty and warfare, while the quality of Gaza’s health care system has reached an all-time low. Today, Gaza’s health care system cannot provide the treatment that many patients require.
    © ICRC International Committee of the Red Cross
    What does the law say about the establishment of settlements in occupied territory?

    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/faq/occupation-faq-051010.htm

  3. Now post a story about the embarrasment Avigdor Lieberman. The choices run from him being arrested for assaulting a child to his impending corruption charges. Remember to post a story about how Likud would never ever agree to a two state solution based on the internationally recognized 1967 borders. The citizens of Vancouver ought to know that Israel is a chronic international law abuser.

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