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Red Cross: No Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

"There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza." So states categorically Mathilde Redmatn, the deputy director of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 4/21/2011, 12:31 PM / Last Update: 4/21/2011, 12:28 PM

"There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza." So states categorically Mathilde Redmatn, the deputy director of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip.

"If you go to the supermarket, there are products,” she said, as reported on the IDF website. “There are restaurants and a nice beach.  The problem is mainly in maintenance of infrastructure and in access to certain goods such as concrete. Israel has the legitimate right to protect [its] civilian population, this right should be balanced with the right of 1.5 million people living in the Gaza Strip.”

She acknowledged that Israel has eased its closure on Gaza and has partially lifted export bans.

"Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip is against international law because it is directed at civilians," the Red Cross official said. "We conduct confidential or bilateral dialogue with Hamas on the matter. As time passes, the dialogue also develops." 

She said that the Red Cross has also asked to meet with captive soldier Gilad Shalit: "When a person's freedom is taken away, he deserves at least contact with his family. We will continue to ask but we do not have the capability to force anything on Hamas. Hamas' refusal is based on security reasons. Hamas is afraid of the IDF's advanced technological capabilities and believes that allowing contact will lead to the location of Gilad."