Netanyahu to Red Cross head
'Our citizens are being brutally held by Hamas'

PM meets Red Cross head, says organization must help return Israeli citizens and bodies of soldiers cruelly captive held by Hamas.

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Arutz Sheva Staff,

Netanyahu and Maurer
Netanyahu and Maurer
Kobi Gideon, GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Wednesday with International Committee of the Red Cross president Peter Maurer and asked him to work to bring back the Israeli citizens held captive by the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.

"We see a very fair and open relationship between the Red Cross and Israel, which I think is very important to the Red Cross, to Israel and to peace," Netanyahu told Maurer.

"I must tell you that you come at a time when we are dealing with this unbearable cruelty, when the bodies of our dead soldiers are held and even information about them is not released. And no less importantly, we have defenseless and innocent Israeli citizens who are being held in Gaza, who you asked to be allowed to visit and about whom we asked for information. But [Hamas' answer] was no.

"They are being held in a very secretive and very cruel manner. I appreciate all your help and assistance in this humanitarian effort against the cruelty of Hamas," Netanyahu told the Red Cross president.

Netanyahu said that the Red cross can help return the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed during Operation Protective Edge and whose bodies have been held by Hamas since 2014, as well as the two Israeli citizens held by Hamas "in violation of all international norms and all the values ​​on which the Red Cross was established."

Maurer told the Prime Minister: "We (the Red Cross) have been working in this area for a long time, and this is one of the longest operations we have had. We have a mandate under international law, but our role is to help people and find practical practical solutions, and I look forward to the opportunity to address some of the challenges we all face today and see how the Red Cross can help with this challenge or with another."

Maurer visited the Gaza Strip yesterday (Tuesday), and met with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar. Maurer told journalists afterwards that he and Sinwar had a "good conversation" about a range of issues including the humanitarian situation in Gaza and international humanitarian law.

During the meeting, Mauer asked to be allowed to visit "the Israeli soldiers missing in Gaza."