Paris, January 9, 2009
France deeply regrets that UNRWA has been forced to suspend its activities in the Gaza Strip and the ICRC compelled to scale down its operations particularly because of the risks incurred by their personnel.
In this respect, we condemn the firing of the shots which killed a UNRWA driver delivering humanitarian aid and express our condolences to his family.
France solemnly calls on the parties to guarantee the safety of the humanitarian agents and freedom of access to humanitarian aid so that UNRWA can resume its activities in the Gaza Strip as soon as possible and the ICRC carry out its mission.
France also recalls the necessity for the parties fully to respect international humanitarian law.
France continues to demand an immediate ceasefire allowing establishment of a humanitarian truce to address civilians’ needs./.