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Israel admitted into Red Cross

GENEVA, June 22 (Reuters) - The world's largest relief agency extended membership to Israeli and Palestinian emergency aid providers on Thursday, and approved a new red crystal emblem for use alongside its cross and crescent.

Unable to reach consensus, 192 countries and 183 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies agreed in a rare vote to approve a new, neutral emblem that allowed Israel's Magen David Adom (MDA) to join the humanitarian network.

Both the MDA and the Palestine Red Crescent Society were then admitted as members of the movement, ending nearly 60 years of diplomatic wrangling over their exclusion.

Conference chairman Mohammed Al Hadid said the move should engender better cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian relief services, and ensure more universal access to those needing help from the Geneva-headquartered agency.

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