Special report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts
AMMAN, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross
(ICRC) denounced here Sunday that Israel has been blocking its emergency medical
team into the Gaza Strip.
Even though the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel opened for other
humanitarian workers and foreigners leaving the strip, the ICRC team has been
awaiting permission to enter Gaza since Friday morning, ICRC said in a
The organization had notified the Israeli authorities of the team's arrival
in advance, it further complained.
According to the ICRC, its team consists of four medics and specialists led
by an experienced ICRC war surgeon, who are seeking to enter Gaza to help the
medical staff of Shifa Hospital there to conduct complex operations for people
injured by the bombing.
"It is absolutely essential that this team get into Gaza now, as they are
mostly needed now," said Pierre Wettach, head of the ICRC delegation in Israel
and the occupied territories.
On Saturday, Israel's ground troops entered the Gaza Strip ruled by the
Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) for the second phase of offensive on the
militant group after eight days of air strikes.
Israel's military action, aimed at retaliating for Hamas militants' rocket
attacks into Israel, has so far killed some 480 Palestinians and wounded more
than 2,400 others.