ISTANBUL: The European Union (EU) condemned on Saturday the recent shelling in the Gaza Strip that damaged the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office, resulting in dozens of casualties.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell stressed the necessity of holding those responsible accountable through an independent investigation, Anadolu Agency reported.

“The EU condemns the shelling which damaged the ICRC office in Gaza and led to dozens of casualties,“ Borrell wrote on X. “An independent investigation is needed and those responsible must be held accountable.”

Borrell reiterated the importance of protecting civilians, highlighting that such protection is an “obligation under the Geneva Conventions,“ which “all parties in conflict are bound to” uphold.

The EU’s call for accountability underscores the urgency of ensuring that the ICRC can safely continue its humanitarian efforts.

The organisation plays a crucial role in providing protection and assistance to victims of conflict, as well as access to prisoners, under the framework of the Geneva Conventions.

The ICRC reported that its office in Gaza, surrounded by hundreds of displaced civilians, was damaged Friday by nearby shelling.

“The strike damaged the structure of the ICRC office, which is surrounded by hundreds of displaced civilians living in tents, including many of our Palestinian colleagues,“ it said in a statement.

The incident caused a mass casualty influx at a nearby Red Cross field hospital, with the facility receiving 22 bodies and 45 injured, with reports of additional casualties. - Bernama, Anadolu