?????? \\ February 2012 Israel / Occupied Territories E-Newsletter
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Crescent Society
Neither sickness nor bars can separate a mother from her sons
ICRC // Bassam Almohor

One of the many hardships endured in armed conflict is the separation of families. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are working in restoring family links in conflict areas all over the world. The organization provides support and comfort for hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Under international humanitarian law, Israel must allow Palestinian detainees to receive family visits when feasible. Thus, the International Committee of the Red Cross )ICRC( has been facilitating contact between Palestinian detainees and their relatives from the West Bank and Gaza for over 40 years. In 2011, there were more than 8,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli places of detention; including 700 detainees from Gaza who, since 2007, are denied visits from their relatives. The ICRC transported about 115,000 people from the West Bank to visit their relatives in Israeli places of detention, including around 30 with health problems who were transported by ambulances. Mrs Zeinab Issa is a 67 years old mother living in Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus, one of the main cities in the northern West Bank. Due to a broken hip, Mrs Zeinab has been confined to a wheelchair for almost 10 years. Her two sons are detained in Israel. A. has been in prison for 17 years and O. was sentenced to 5 years and has one year left.

The ICRC, in close cooperation with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), facilitated Mrs Zeinab's two-hour journey in order to visit her sons. She was transported in a PRCS ambulance from her home to the nearest Checkpoint in the West Bank and then into an Israeli ambulance to the Israeli place of detention.

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PRCS ambulance transports Mrs Zeinab from Nablus to Jubara Checkpoint in the West Bank. ICRC, in cooperation with PRCS, facilitated her visit by providing transportation to and from the prison.
B. Almohor
PRCS ambulance leaves the narrow alleys of Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus to take Mrs Zeinab to visit her sons detained in Israel.
B. Almohor
Mrs Zeinab is back from her visit to her sons in Hadarim Prison. For her, these visits are priceless and an essential lifeline with both her sons detained in Israel.
B. Almohor

Iyad Al Baba
+ Gaza: the joy of reunion

The ICRC recently helped 86-year-old Aysheh Khamis Abu Sifan to return to Gaza from Jordan, to be reunited with her family. She was living on her own with a weak health condition in Amman, and was finally reunited with her loved ones in Gaza after more than 15 years of separation.

Elderly people and children are given priority by the ICRC, which does its utmost to restore family links for those separated by conflicts. During 2011, the ICRC managed to arrange for elderly individuals from Jordan and Jerusalem, as well as handicapped children originally from Gaza, to be reunited with their families in Gaza.

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Andrea & Magda
+ West Bank: Promoting economic security in Hebron

The ICRC is currently involved in a number of initiatives promoting economic security for the Palestinian population living in the old town of Hebron (referred to as H2), where the economy has been seriously undermined by the consequences of the conflict and associated restrictions of movements. In addition, many young people have grown up with little or no access to professional training or education and very few employment opportunities.

Consequently, the ICRC decided to scale up and reinforce its support of micro economic initiatives (MEI) by supporting around 30 to 40 projects in 2012, and to support access to vocational training or apprenticeship for between 30 and 50 youth.

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+ Israel and the occupied territories: another year without change (2011 annual operational update)
+ January 2012 e-newsletter
+ Syria: latest update
+ Syria: Red Crescent volunteers save lives as situation deteriorates (Photo Gallery)
+ Yemen: faint hope amid further violence
+ Ensuring economic security
ICRC visits to prisons: In detention - the humane way
+ Watch Movie

Working for the ICRC: delegate
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ICRC ? International Committee of the Red Cross Subscribe to Newsletter Unsubscribe