Red Cross: Israel knew about emergency situation


(JTA) — The International Red Cross said Israeli forces must have been aware of dead and wounded Palestinians left four days without attention.

The Red Cross said Israeli forces prevented its first responders from reaching an area of the Zeitun neighborhood in Gaza City where buildings had collapsed because of Israeli shelling.

The agency said it sought access on Saturday after the neighborhood was shelled, but Israeli forces kept them from reaching the site until Wednesday, where rescuers found 15 people dead and 18 in need of emergency care, including four starving children next to their dead mothers.

"The Israeli military must have been aware of the situation but did not assist the wounded," the committee said in a statement Thursday.

Earth walls built by Israeli forces prevented ambulances from reaching the area, and the wounded had to be evacuated by donkey cart.

The Israeli army’s response did not directly address the accusations but said serious complaints would be investigated.

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