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ICRC calls to reduce tensions and prevent violence in Jerusalem

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Jerusalem (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply worried about the recent spike of violent confrontations in Jerusalem.

Last night our partners from the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) treated over 200 people and transferred 88 to hospitals due to injuries caused by the violence. The PRCS staff and volunteers were operating at their maximum capacity, with all available ambulances deployed.

"With both the end of Ramadan and "Jerusalem Day" approaching, we call on authorities in charge and community leaders who can assert influence on the situation to make a concerted effort to reduce tensions and prevent further violence," says Els Debuf, head of the ICRC mission in Jerusalem. "Fiery rhetoric amplified through social media may have direct and serious consequences for people in the streets of Jerusalem and escalate the cycle of violence well beyond the city," she adds.

Law enforcement officials must ensure that their choice and use of weapons or other equipment are compatible with international legal standards on the use of force. That includes using the minimum force necessary to maintain or restore law and order, and non-violent means as far as possible.

The ICRC calls on everyone to facilitate the safe and unobstructed movement for ambulances treating the injured and wounded, and to allow staff and volunteers of PRCS to carry out their life-saving activities.

For more information and interview requests please contact:

Christoph HANGER, ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +967 52 601 9150 - changer@icrc.org