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Will Israel join Red Cross?
Red Cross members agree to hold conference to resolve dispute that has excluded Israel from organization for nearly 60 years
Member countries of the international Red Cross movement Tuesday asked Switzerland to organize a diplomatic conference by year-end to revive an effort to give Israel full membership status that it has been denied for nearly six decades.

 

“Switzerland in its role as a depositary state of the Geneva Conventions plans to organize a diplomatic conference charged with adopting a protocol to establish an additional emblem to the existing red cross and red crescent emblems,” the Swiss government said.

 

U.S. Ambassador in Geneva Kevin Moley said the American delegation was pleased with the talks’ outcome.

 

“This is a very positive step towards the goal of making the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement truly universal,” he said.

 

The disagreement centers on whether a red Star of David can join the emblems of the red cross and red crescent to identify ambulances, medical workers and others on humanitarian missions.

 

The last major attempt to include Israel was five years ago, when it failed because of increased Arab-Israeli tensions. Now it appears that in the wake of the Gaza and northern West Bank disengagement there is greater willingness by member states to reconsider the issue.

 

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