The International Committee of the Red Cross has issued a written release demanding immediate access to Gaza after the discovery of weak children laying next to their dead mothers.
In the release, the ICRC states:
The ICRC/PRCS team found four small children next to their dead mothers in one of the houses. They were too weak to stand up on their own. One man was also found alive, too weak to stand up. In all there were at least 12 corpses lying on mattresses.
In another house, the ICRC/PRCS rescue team found 15 other survivors of this attack including several wounded. In yet another house, they found an additional three corpses. Israeli soldiers posted at a military position some 80 meters away from this house ordered the rescue team to leave the area which they refused to do. There were several other positions of the Israeli Defence Forces nearby as well as two tanks.
"This is a shocking incident," said Pierre Wettach, the ICRC’s head of delegation for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. "The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded. Neither did they make it possible for us or the Palestine Red Crescent to assist the wounded."
The ICRC was informed that there are more wounded sheltering in other destroyed houses in this neighbourhood. It demands that the Israeli military grant it and PRCS ambulances safe passage and access immediately to search for any other wounded. Until now, the ICRC has still not received confirmation from the Israeli authorities that this will be allowed.
The ICRC believes that in this instance the Israeli military failed to meet its obligation under international humanitarian law to care for and evacuate the wounded. It considers the delay in allowing rescue services access unacceptable.
With no foreign journalists in Gaza, we are only seeing glimpses of the destruction and the human toll Israel’s assault on Gaza is causing. In a densely populated territory of 1.5 million Palestinians, Israel is employing aggressive tactics on the ground. The results are unsurprising: the deaths at the UN school, wholesale destruction, and children without their mothers.
As Israel now does the slow dance toward a cease fire that will give it a face saving exit, more civilians continue to be killed. When the guns do eventually fall silent, we will have gotten a ceasefire deal that was available to Israel well before it launched its latest assault.
Meanwhile, the killing continues.