Red Cross closes Ramallah offices over Palestinian violence

The ICRC closed its office in Ramallah following Palestinian violence and threats.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) closed its office in Ramallah recently following a violent demonstration in the city on May 16 in support of hunger-striking security prisoners. Protesters blamed the ICRC for failing to intervene with Israel over what they termed its “shortcomings” in the conditions of Palestinian terrorists detained in Israeli jails.

The ICRC said the move comes following “the serious threats against the staff and the office in Ramallah.”

“A group of people stormed the office, this [Tuesday] evening, threatened the safety of staff, and violently demanded them stop work and leave the office,” it added.

Christian Cardon, head of mission for the ICRC in Jerusalem and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), emphasized that “these acts are unacceptable and should be stopped immediately.”

“In the recent weeks our employees and offices have been subjected to similar incidents in the West Bank,” Cardon said.

“The closure of Ramallah office, however, will not affect the work of the ICRC offices in the rest of the West Bank,” he stressed.

The attack on the ICRC’s office in Ramallah – the provisional capital of the Palestinian Authority (PA) – is part of a larger, repeated pattern of threats made against humanitarian organizations and NGOs working in the PA-run areas of Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

In May 2016, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), a UN agency solely dedicated to treating so-called Palestinian refugees, suspended its work in the Balata Refugee Camp in the Shechem (Nablus) area for a day following threats against their staff.

Similarly, in April 2015, the UNRWA office in Gaza City was bombed.

In January that year, In January, a large group of Palestinian protesters stormed the UNRWA compound, citing lack of funds and suspended payments to Gaza families to rebuild their homes damaged during Operation Protective Edge.

By: World Israel News Staff