The Swiss called the conference to approve a third emblem alongside the Red Cross and the Red Crescent. The vote was 98 in favor and 27 against, with 10 abstentions. “Unfortunately, it is the first time in the history of international human rights law that an international convention of this importance has been put to a vote,” said the Syrian ambassador, Bashar Jaafari. “It is a real pity.”
The way to an accord appeared to have been cleared late last month when Magen David Adom and the Palestinian Red Crescent agreed to make the Palestinians the internationally recognized emergency service within the occupied territories. Arab states insisted the question of responsibility for the occupied territories had to be resolved before they would consider a new emblem custom-made for Israel.