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30-07-2006  Press Release 06/83 
Lebanon/Israel: ICRC alarmed by high number of civilian casualties and disrespect for international humanitarian law
Geneva (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is alarmed by the increasing number of civilian casualties resulting from the ongoing armed conflict.

In today's military operations by the Israel Defense Forces against the village of Qana, a building sheltering civilians was directly hit. At the time of writing, the Lebanese Red Cross Society and the Lebanese Civil Defense have extracted 28 bodies from the rubble, 19 of whom are children.

Issuing advance warning to the civilian population of impending attacks in no way relieves a warring party of its obligations under the rules and principles of international humanitarian law. In particular, the principles of distinction and proportionality must be respected at all times.

Nineteen days after the conflict began, the ICRC observes with great concern the continuous escalation of hostilities and deplores the recurring lack of respect for international humanitarian law by the warring parties.

The ICRC once again urgently calls for a distinction to be drawn at all times between civilians and civilian objects on the one hand, and military objectives on the other. All necessary precautions must be taken to spare civilian life and objects and to ensure that the wounded have access to medical facilities.

For further information, please contact:
Vincent Lusser, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 24 26 or +41 79 217 32 64
Carla Haddad, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 24 05 or +41 79 217 32 26
Hicham Hassan, ICRC Beirut, tel. +961 1 739 297 or +961 3 542 839
Tamara Al-Rifai, ICRC Damascus, tel. +96 393 58 50 58 or +96 311 331 04 76
Bana Sayeh, ICRC Jerusalem, tel. +972 2 582 88 45 or +972 57 880 91 93
Yael Eytan, ICRC Tel Aviv, tel. +972 35 24 52 86 or +972 52 275 75 17
Nada Doumani, ICRC Iraq, tel. +962 65523994 or +962 777 39 9614

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Copyright © 2006  International Committee of the Red Cross30-07-2006