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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

ICRC admits to aiding wounded Hezbullah fighters

The Red Cross has now confirmed a story that appeared in the New York Times and Washington Post last week that said that it was assisting Hezbullah fighters.
"The moment a Hizbullah fighter is injured, he is considered a non-combatant, so we must take care of him," ICRC spokeswoman Carla Haddad told The Jerusalem Post by phone from Geneva. "We are a neutral intermediary and the ICRC has a mandate to intervene."

Haddad confirmed that ICRC personnel in southern Lebanon, working together with members of the Lebanese Red Cross, had offered medical assistance and other unspecified forms of relief to Hizbullah members hurt on the battlefield.
But it gets worse:
Asked if the ICRC would assist wounded Hizbullah fighters even if it meant they would then be able to return immediately to the battle or continue firing rockets at Israel, Haddad replied, "There is nothing wrong with assisting the war wounded."

Pressed to clarify if the organization would also provide aid to al-Qaida members wounded in clashes with US troops in Afghanistan, she momentarily hesitated before saying, "Yes, of course. We would assist non-combatants on both sides."

Contacted by the Post, Carol Miller, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in Washington, defended the ICRC's policy, insisting it was required under international law.

"The Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law protect non-combatants in armed conflict - the wounded, civilians, prisoners of war, medical personnel and humanitarian Red Cross workers," she said. "The ICRC is the guardian of the Geneva Conventions and operates as a neutral intermediary in armed conflict, providing protection and humanitarian assistance to non-combatants."

According to Miller, the ICRC makes no distinction between soldiers of a sovereign state and those belonging to a terrorist group.

"The characterization by one side of the other as terrorists," she said, "does not alter the fundamental protections of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law. We do not takes sides in an armed conflict; we neither condemn nor support a side. The movement provides humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people in need, without regard to which side they may seem to be on or what they may be called."
So just hide out among 'civilians' and when you're injured, the Red Cross will take care of you. Who needs combat medics when you have the Red Cross?

Read the whole thing.


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