GENEVA (Apr. 21)
The International Committee of the Red Cross will soon lodge a strong protest at the highest levels of the Israeli government over the expulsion of eight Palestinian activists from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the collective punishment of Palestinians in those territories.
Carlos Bovert, an ICRC spokesman here, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Wednesday night that one of the directors of the humanitarian agency will go to Israel soon to personally express its concern.
The ICRC “condemns strongly the expulsions and deportations which are in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (of 1949) forbidding forced transfer of individuals or groups,” the spokesman said.
He said the other serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention by Israel was the demolition of homes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Force blew up 14 homes in the West Bank Arab village of Beita after a clash there April 6 between villagers and teenage Jewish hikers. A 15-year-old Jewish girl, Tirza Porat, and two Palestinian youths were killed.
The ICRC strongly condemns the practice of collective punishment, the JTA was told. The spokesman also said ICRC delegates in the area have reported the use of “weapons of war” during the past 72 hours, resulting in the deaths of several Palestinians.