The NAM, OIC, and the Arab Group in Geneva urge the IFRC, ICRC, and WHO to pressure Israel to end strikes and blockade on Gaza

Pursuant to the decisions made by the OIC Group in its most recent meeting concerning the Gaza tragedy, a delegation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Arab Group and Palestine in Geneva met today, 30 December 2008, the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Mr. Bekele Geleta, the President of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent, Mr. Jakob Kellenberger and a representative of the Director General of the World Health Organization in the absence of the Director General today.

The delegation impressed upon the heads of these three humanitarian organizations to pressure Israel to stop the military action, end the violation of human rights standards and international humanitarian law and allow humanitarian assistance into Gaza.

NAM, OIC, the Arab Group and Palestinian representatives impressed upon the heads of the IFRC, ICRC and WHO of the important role of these organizations in ending Israeli military attacks, by especially highlighting the humanitarian disaster that was unfolding and had the potential of becoming worse if Israel persisted in its military strikes and in undertaking ground military incursion into Gaza.

It was stressed that it was the responsibility of the humanitarian agencies to use all their moral authority to end the military operations, stop the massacre of civilians, including women and children, provide medical assistance to the wounded and sick inside Gaza, allow the free passage of the wounded and sick to outside Gaza, pressure the occupying power to end the economic blockade of Gaza, and to end the occupation.

The Secretary General of the IFRC, the President of the ICRC and the representative of the WHO Director General, informed the delegation of the actions they were taking to respond to the humanitarian impact of Israeli military operations.