Sunday, January 11, 2009

Red Cross will no longer escort Palestinian ambulances in Gaza

The international Red Cross says it is halting its service of escorting Palestinian ambulances in the Gaza Strip.

Red Cross spokesman Iyad Nasr says the decision was made after one of its ambulances came under fire. He says the incident occurred on Saturday during a three-hour lull declared by Israel to allow aid groups to do their work in the besieged area.

Nasr says his organization is still investigating the source of the fire.
Israeli forces have targeted several ambulances during two weeks of fighting in Gaza. Israel has in the past accused Hamas of hiding militants inside ambulances.

The Red Cross escorts are meant to provide extra protection to Palestinian ambulances and guarantee that all occupants are civilians.

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