Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuDana Kopel/POOL/Flash90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Sunday to Mirjana Spoljaric, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and demanded that the Red Cross seek the immediate release of the Israeli hostages, as required by international law.

The Prime Minister also demanded that the Red Cross uphold its right to immediately visit all the hostages to verify their safety and health.

This appeal by the Prime Minister comes in the wake of ongoing contacts between government representatives and the Red Cross since the outbreak of the war.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said last week he spoke to the President of the Red Cross and demanded that the organization visit the more than 200 hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza.

“I spoke today with the President of the Red Cross, Mirjana Spoljaric, and I placed an immediate demand on her to visit the hostages in Gaza and provide them with the necessary treatments,” Cohen wrote on X following the meeting.

“I told her that if the Red Cross fails to visit the hostages, held by the terrorist organization Hamas, it has no reason to exist,” he added.

“The Red Cross has to act decisively and with all levers of pressure in order to take care of the safety and health of the hostages, among them women, children and Holocaust survivors whom Hamas brutally kidnapped and is against every international norm,” said Cohen.

The Jerusalem Institute of Justice, an Israeli human rights NGO, recently led a coalition of 50 organizations in urging the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to verify the status of the hostages.