During an official visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, held high level talks with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Israeli President Simon Peres, and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. During these talks, he focused on the need for a new balance to be found between Israel's security concerns and the impact of occupation on the lives of Palestinians.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been selected as an official honoree by the 16th Annual Webby Awards for its short documentary depicting the dangerous conditions faced by doctors, nurses and ambulance workers operating on the front lines of Libya's recent armed conflict.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has just completed the distribution of seed and agricultural tools to approximately 15,000 displaced people around Agok in the southern part of disputed Abyei area. These people are among the one hundred thousand people who fled fighting in May 2011. 8 months on and these families are struggling to survive.
In June 2007, the Israeli authorities announced the suspension of family visits for Palestinians from Gaza who were being held in Israel. This decision, which was made a year after Palestinian armed groups captured the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, deprives both the detainees and their relatives of an essential lifeline, and cuts detainees off from the outside world. In the past four years, over 700 families from Gaza have been prevented from seeing their detained relatives.
2010 to 2011 have seen a major series of crises which have affected ever increasing numbers of people. Demand for humanitarian assistance has reached an unprecedented level at a time when long term conflicts continue unabated, according to the ICRC's Annual Report launched in Geneva today (26th May 2011).
As a result of the recent and ongoing fighting in Libya, unexploded weapons left from the conflict are a major hazard for the country's civilian population. Unexploded ordnance and armoured vehicles, including rockets, shells and mortars, are strewn across public places and residential areas in Misrata, Ajdabiya and Benghazi. The risk for civilians is high.