Amid the escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), commended China’s support for upholding international humanitarian law.
In a recent exclusive interview with Xinhua, Spoljaric elaborated on the dire situation she witnessed during her visit to southern Gaza last week and called on all parties to the conflict to de-escalate the situation and respect international humanitarian law so that civilian suffering is minimized and avoided.
The humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating, said Spoljaric. “What I saw in Gaza is a devastating humanitarian situation, it is increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for the civilian population to find safety.”
“There’s not enough medicine. There are not enough surgeons to operate and there are not enough operating theaters,” she said. “The situation has greatly deteriorated in the last few days and it keeps deteriorating as the current situation persists.”
Spoljaric highlighted the formidable challenges encountered by humanitarian workers in Gaza, citing insecurity and inadequate access to essential resources like electricity and water as severe impediments to aid operations.
“The operational environment in Gaza is extremely complex and difficult. For security reasons, our chances of reaching people who really need help are getting smaller and smaller. But also because it is still difficult for us to move the materials and goods needed for aid to come in,” she said.
“We need fuel to be delivered to Gaza regularly to run generators, especially in hospitals. Because without electricity, hospitals cannot continue to operate and will collapse,” she added.
She praised China’s role in calling for support and respect for international humanitarian law, describing China’s voice in this as very strong and important.
“We welcome China’s voice in support of respect for international humanitarian law,” she said. “This is very important because international humanitarian law was created and adopted to protect civilians in a situation of armed conflict.”