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November 15, 2013 4:05 pm

Hamas Uses International Red Crescent Logo in Parade Without Permission

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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An ambulance from International Red Crescent used in the Hamas parade, on November 14, 2013. Photo: Screenshot.

An ambulance bearing the International Red Crescent insignia used in the Hamas parade, on November 14, 2013. Photo: Screenshot.

As several thousand armed fighters from terror group Hamas’s Qassam Brigades military wing marched through the Gaza Strip on Thursday, complete with M75 missiles and rocket launchers, their parade also included an ambulance with International Red Crescent insignia, which is against the rules, a spokesman for the humanitarian organization’s head office said on Friday.

The misuse of the insignia was first noted by the Israelicool blog, then followed up by blogger Elder of Ziyon, who alerted the International Committee of the Red Cross spokesman via Twitter.

On Friday, the ICRC spokesman said responsibility for censuring Hamas for using its insignia in a military parade should be dictated by local laws on the matter, which don’t exist, and the national Red Crescent society, in other words, to the Red Crescent of the Palestinian Authority.

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“[N]ot so simple responsibility for authorizing use of RC emblems rests with State & use regulated by domestic law… As far as I remember there is no law in #Palestine for the protection of the emblem,” the spokesman Tweeted.

ICRC rules back up his comment, but Edler of Ziyon persisted, asking the spokesman to take a stand from the parent group.

“Even so, since the PA Red Crescent is not likely to lodge its own complaint, it would seem to behoove the ICRC to publicly dissociate itself from Hamas’ use of these ambulances with their logo,” the blogger added.

The ICRC spokesman declined to respond further to the allegation, but the blogger’s review of the pertinent agreements pointed out that the situation was further in limbo because of the “occupied” nature of Gaza, which, according to the convoluted ICRC rules on this grey area, actually could place responsibility for the ambulance in the parade with Israel.

“The ICRC considers Israel responsible for the hospitals in Gaza by insisting that their being stocked with medicines (for example) is a responsibility under occupation law. So according to this theory, the hospitals are under Israeli effective control but the ambulances are not?” Elder of Ziyon wrote.

The rules are to prevent the international symbol for being used in conflict or under military guise, with the notion that the ICRC loses its independence to perform humanitarian work once its conflated with any army.

The question over whether the Hamas use was prohibited was confirmed by its leadership’s words and actions on Thursday that show it was clearly a military parade.

At the parade, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar said, “Here are the men of Qassam. Who can defeat them? Today they are in Gaza and tomorrow they will reach out for all of Palestine,” Reuters reported. The parade was to mark the first anniversary of the eight-day military conflict with Israel, which the IDF called “Pillar of Defense,” in 2012.

Earlier in the day, to commemorate the occasion, Hamas fired mortars into southern Israel, leading the IDF to respond by striking two Hamas rocket launchers.

Watch footage of the Hamas parade, with the ICRC logo visible at 3:36.

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