Israeli NGO sues Red Cross for failure to provide aid

As of: December 22, 2023 7:40 a.m

An Israeli NGO accuses the Red Cross of being “biased” and “indifferent to Israeli lives.” She filed a lawsuit on behalf of the families of 24 hostages in a Jerusalem court.

An Israeli non-governmental organization (NGO) says it has sued the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for failing to provide assistance to Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip. The Shurat HaDin organization filed a lawsuit in a Jerusalem court on behalf of the families of 24 of the 250 people abducted by Hamas.

The NGO, which says it advocates for Israel’s interests at a legal level, accuses the ICRC of failing to fulfill its mandate and “moral duty” and of not visiting the hostages, providing them with medical care and fighting for their release.

Request apparently rejected after handing over medication

One of the hostages represented by Shurat HaDin is Raz Ben Ami, who was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists along with her husband Ohad from Kibbutz Beeri to the Gaza Strip on October 7th. While Raz was released after nearly two months in captivity, Ohad is still in the hands of Hamas.

As the Israeli news site ynet reports, Raz suffers from a chronic illness and is dependent on medication. While she was being held hostage, her family contacted the ICRC asking them to help the 57-year-old receive medication. According to the report, the request was rejected. An ICRC representative also reportedly sent the family an email wishing them “success in re-establishing contact with their family members.”

“We cannot accept this disregard and disrespect for human life just because the hostages are Jews,” said the head of Shurat HaDin, Nizana Darshan-Leitner. She accused the ICRC of being “biased” and “indifferent to Israeli lives.”

ICRC is “deeply hurt and frustrated”

When asked by the AFP news agency, the ICRC said it had continually called for the release of the abducted people since the radical Islamic Hamas attack on Israel on October 7th. “We are deeply hurt and frustrated when we do not have access to people who need our help,” said a spokesman.

He further emphasized that his organization had met with Hamas “at all levels” and made humanitarian diplomatic efforts to gain access to the hostages.

According to the Israeli government, there are still 129 hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Bettina Meier, ARD Tel Aviv, tagesschau, December 21, 2023 4:00 p.m

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