Five Red Cross, Red Crescent staffers killed in armed hostilities in Israel, Gaza
IFRC reiterates demand for all parties to respect legal obligations under international law
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) confirmed Wednesday that five staffers were killed in armed hostilities in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
"Today, in two different incidents, ambulances were hit killing four Palestine Red Crescent paramedics who were helping those in need," IFRC said in a statement.
A Magen David Adom ambulance driver in Israel was killed Saturday while transporting that were injured, it added.
"The IFRC reiterates the call on all parties to respect their legal obligations under international humanitarian law. This is non-negotiable," it said. "Civilians, healthcare workers, health facilities and civilian infrastructure must be respected and protected at all times. They are not a target."
Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip in response to a military offensive by the Palestinian group Hamas in Israeli territories.
The conflict began Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel -- a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air.
Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli military launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip in response.
That response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.