Israeli FM demands Red Cross visit hostages in Gaza, says it has ‘no right to exist’ otherwise

Relatives of Israelis missing or held hostages by Hamas pose after a meeting at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) headquarters in Geneva on October 20, 2023. (Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)
Relatives of Israelis missing or held hostages by Hamas pose after a meeting at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) headquarters in Geneva on October 20, 2023. (Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen speaks with the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mirjana Spoljaric, and demands that the group visit the 240 hostages held captive by Hamas in Gaza, harshly criticizing the organization’s conduct so far.

Cohen’s office says the foreign minister told Spoljaric that ICRC must demand to meet and provide medical assistance to all hostages.

“The Red Cross has no right to exist if it does not succeed in visiting the hostages being held captive by the Hamas terror group,” Cohen tells Spoljaric, noting that “children, women and Holocaust survivors” are being held captive.

“The Red Cross must act decisively and with a clear voice and utilize all leverage it has to push for a visit to the hostages as soon as possible,” Cohen adds.

The foreign minister criticizes the ICRC for focusing on Israel, “which is bound by international law and acts in accordance with it,” instead of the enormous humanitarian crisis created by Hamas.

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