Syria, Israel at odds over Israeli induction to Red Cross
A decision to approve a new emblem for the Red Cross which would allow Israel into the organization has been delayed at least until Wednesday, with Syria demanding that its humanitarian workers be allowed access to the occupied Golan Heights, held by Israel.
"We want to get a similar Israeli commitment to us similar to what they did with the Palestinians," Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari said, referring to an agreement reached last week between Israelis and Palestinians letting workers on each side move freely.
192 signatories had hoped to vote on the approval of a new emblem to supplement the existing red cross and red crescent currently used. The new design, a "red crystal" would be used by Israeli paramedics if accepted.
The red crescent, used by most Muslim countries, was adopted in 1876 under the Ottoman empire as an alternative to the red cross symbol, adopted in 1863. A request for use of the red Star of David used in Israel was voted down in 1949 and Arab countries have since blocked attempts to find an alternative emblem, according to the AP.
Syria claimed it had the support of the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference while Iran reportedly announced that it would vote against adopting an additional emblem for Israel.
Switzerland is hosting the conference in its role as depository state of the Geneva Conventions.
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