Jacques de Maio, head of the ICRC delegation in Israel and the PA. (AP/KEYSTONE/Salvatore Di Nolfi) (AP/KEYSTONE/Salvatore Di Nolfi)
Jacques de Maio

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Head of the ICRC delegation to Israel and the PA had positive words for Israel and its cooperation with the humanitarian organization.

Jacques De Maio, who heads the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation to Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), had positive and even warm words for the Jewish State, a rare instance in a climate heavily biased against Israel.

Speaking to Israel Ynet news this week, he stated there is no IDF order to shoot suspects to kill, in contradiction to what “[Palestinian] political officials tried to convince us.”

He said the ICRC clarified with the IDF the issue of shooting terrorists during attacks, and reached “an unequivocal conclusion” that there is no IDF order to shoot suspects to kill.

“The rules of engagement haven’t changed, and have actually been made stricter,” he clarified.

He said there have been instances of individual soldiers who “have made the wrong decision at times” and there are instances of misconduct at border crossings, and the ICRC does “not hesitate to report that to the IDF and we usually get a professional response. That is why we rejected the accusation, and there were immediately those who claimed we were covering up war crimes committed by the IDF, and that we were serving the Zionists.”

‘There is No Apartheid Here’

He also rejected claims that Israel has instated an apartheid regime against the Palestinians. “There isn’t a regime here that is based on the superiority of one race over another; there is no disenfranchisement of basic human rights based on so-called racial inferiority,” he said.

“The Red Cross was very familiar with the regime in South Africa during apartheid, and we respond to anyone who makes the argument that Israel is an apartheid state: No, there is no apartheid here,” he stated.

He also praised Israeli cooperation with the humanitarian organization, the largest in the world.

“Israel gives us—unlike the security establishments in many other countries, including Western ones—quick access to senior officials in the IDF, the Prison Service, and other security services. We have useful, productive and professional dialogue with them,” he said.

By: United with Israel Staff

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