A humanitarian aid convoy has come under fire in Gaza City, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Two trucks were damaged and a driver lightly wounded as the ICRC convoy, which was carrying “lifesaving medical supplies to health facilities including to Al Quds hospital of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society,” was hit by fire, the medical NGO said on Tuesday.
The ICRC said it was “deeply troubled” about the incident and reminded the warring “parties of their obligation under international humanitarian law to respect and protect humanitarian workers at all times”.
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The statement did not identify the source of the fire on the convoy, which consisted of five trucks and two ICRC vehicles.
We are deeply troubled that our humanitarian convoy in Gaza City came under fire today. It was carrying lifesaving medical supplies to health facilities, including Al Quds @PalestineRCS hospital.
Under IHL, humanitarian workers must be protected.
— ICRC in Israel & OT (@ICRC_ilot) November 7, 2023
Following the incident, the convoy altered its route to reach al-Shifa Hospital, where it delivered the medical supplies, the ICRC said.
The convoy then accompanied six ambulances with critically wounded patients to the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt.
“These are not the conditions under which humanitarian personnel can work,” said William Schomburg, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Gaza.
“Ensuring that vital aid can reach medical facilities is a legal obligation under international humanitarian law.”
ICRC, a neutral organisation based in Geneva, has escorted patients and transported freed captives out of Gaza.
Since October 7, the Israeli bombardment has killed more than 10,000 Palestinians, about 40 percent of them children, according to counts by Gaza’s health officials.
Nearly two-thirds of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents are internally displaced, according to United Nations figures, with thousands seeking refuge at hospitals, including in makeshift canvas shelters in their car parks.
Hospitals across the enclave have come under fire, with many struggling to continue operating amid shortages of fuel and medical supplies.
The UN says Gaza’s health, sanitation, water and food services are nearing “breaking point”.