‘Red Cross complicit with Hamas,’ says Israeli ambassador

Red Cross ‘refuses to condemn’ Hamas’ crimes, Israel’s UN ambassador charged, when Hamas violates international law ‘every hour.’

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israel’s ambassador to the UN slammed the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for being complicit with Hamas when he met with the humanitarian agency’s permanent observer to the international body Wednesday.

“Hamas commits a serious and abominable war crime and the Red Cross covers it up, refuses to publicly condemn it and never presents to the world the monstrous behavior of Hamas towards the abductees,” Erdan said at the meeting with Laetitia Courtois.

“They violate every day, every hour, international law, by not even allowing access to see the conditions of the hostages. It’s the most severe violation of international law,” he said. “It’s not during a battle, they can allow secretly your people to visit them or to transfer the medical treatments that they need.”

“But you refuse to say it publicly, under this fake principle of “neutrality” that does not exist when we’re talking about their leadership,” he continued. “There can be no neutrality between Nazis and democracies, I’m sorry.”

Israelis and their supporters were shocked when representatives of the hostages’ families met with Red Cross officials recently to beg them to get desperately needed medicines to their captured relatives, many of whom are elderly or wounded or both, and they were told that they should “care more about” the civilians in Gaza who are suffering due to the war.

On Sunday, Hadassah, the largest Jewish women’s organization in the U.S., presented a petition to the ICRC demanding that it fulfill its humanitarian obligations and provide the approximately 132 hostages with essential food and medicines and ensure that they have “tolerable” living conditions, which includes the cessation of physical and sexual abuse that freed abductees have testified to have seen their fellow captives suffer.

In mid-December, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried handing a box of medications to ICRC President Mirjana Spoljaric at a meeting, to be taken to the hostages. “She said no,” he told a Knesset hearing. “It was a difficult conversation.”

Spoljaric also defended her organization’s silence on the grounds that it would actually hurt the hostages’s chances to be released, saying, “The more public pressure we would seemingly do, the more they would shut the door,” referring to Hamas.

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Every week, the local Jewish community holds a rally of 100-200 people in front of the stately building that houses the ICRC’s Washington, D.C. offices, calling for the release of the hostages. They have been joined by members of Congress and hostages’ families as they attempt to put moral pressure on the organization.