On 24 November, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) evacuated 21 critically wounded people from Dammaj, northen Yemen, in a fourth round of evacuations since the beginning of the month and the fifth since the latest round of fighting broke out. Altogether, the ICRC transferred 123 critically wounded people, one pregnant woman and four children to safety.
The traditional entry points in north-west Jordan are now harder to reach for the refugees due to the intensity of the fighting on the Syrian side. More and more families embark on a dangerous journey across Syria to reach the eastern border areas of Jordan in search of a safe haven. Between 200 and 500 people arrive every day in this remote desert area, where the Jordan Armed Forces gather refugees first in assembly points, then in transit sites.
On Friday (18 October), ICRC Head of Delegation in Syria Magne Barth said:
"It's a very very simple appeal. I appeal from my heart in the name of humanity, on behalf of the families to release our colleagues safe and sound and unharmed."
Many more Syrians could receive medical attention and other vital aid if the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent had full access to all areas of the country, says Magne Barth, head of the ICRC's Damascus delegation.
On Thursday (29 August) ICRC spokesperson Dibeh Fakhr said:
"The situation in Syria is a human tragedy with alarming consequences. The human suffering has reached unprecedented levels and there appears to be no end in sight. The humanitarian needs are immense. There are acute shortages of vital medical supplies, food and water especially in areas that have been sealed off since months now and to which the ICRC and Syria Arab Red Crescent has not been given access.
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.