Red Cross Slams IDF After Grisly Gaza Find

Corpses, starving children in zone where army banned rescuers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2009 4:45 AM CST
Palestinian doctors treat a man wounded in Israeli army operations at Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009.    (AP Photo/Ashraf Amra)
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(Newser) – The Red Cross has condemned the Israeli military in unusually harsh terms after finding 15 corpses in shattered houses the organization was prevented from visiting, the Washington Post reports. Officials said they received reports of casualties in the Gaza neighborhood Saturday but weren’t allowed to enter until yesterday. Four children were found lying next to their dead mothers, the group said, emaciated but alive.

Red Cross officials said Israeli soldiers tried to chase rescue workers away from the site but the workers stood their ground. A statement from the relief organization called the incident "unacceptable" and accused Israel of failing to meet its humanitarian obligations under international law. The IDF refused to comment on the specific allegations but said it would investigate once a formal complaint was made.