Red Cross in Gaza closes office due to violent Palestinian protests

Encountering repeated Hamas-sanctioned assaults on their offices, the Red Cross will leave Gaza until it can receive sufficient assurances over its protection.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Sunday it is temporarily closing its Gaza office after Palestinian protesters repeatedly tried to storm it.

Spokeswoman Suhair Zakkout said the office will operate remotely until “local authorities in Gaza provide assurances that our premises, work and staff are respected.”

Gaza is ruled by Hamas, an Islamic terror group that seized power there in 2007. It controls Gaza with an iron fist, and if such violent incidents occurred it is because they were sanctioned, or even organized, by Hamas.

Dozens of Gazans have protested daily at the office in recent weeks in solidarity with a Palestinian terrorist in Israeli custody who is on a hunger strike, demanding that the Red Cross help bring about his release. They tried to enter the building forcefully on Sunday, smashing garage windows and causing other damage.

Mohammed al-Qeq, a 33-year old journalist, has been on a hunger strike for 75 days.

The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) says al-Qeq is involved in terrorist activities linked to Hamas.