Families of hostages protest
Families of hostages protestostages and Missing Families Forum headquarters

Dozens of family members gathered on Thursday evening outside the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv where Red Cross President Mirjana Spoljaric met with families of the hostages.

The families demanded from the Red Cross president: “Do your job, get access to the hostages and provide them with life-saving medicines.”

The families announced that starting on Friday, they will place a huge container in Hostages Plaza in Tel Aviv and called on everybody to come and fill the container with medicines and hygiene products for the hostages.

Merav Raviv, family member of Keren, Ohad and Ruthy Munder who returned from captivity, and niece of Avraham Munder who is still captive in Gaza, said, "Last Friday marked 69 days that Avraham has been living in appalling conditions in Gaza without receiving the medicines he needs. There are elderly hostages who returned in very poor condition and there is even a hostage who died in captivity due to lack of care. Every additional minute in captivity is effectively a death sentence for them. We demand that the Red Cross enter Gaza and provide life-saving medicines to the hostages. We ask all the people of Israel to come to the Hostages Plaza and bring medicines, hygiene products and anything else you think could help our hostages in this area."

Malki Shem Tov, father of hostage Omer Shem Tov who suffers from asthma: "Omer suffers from severe asthma and breathing difficulties. Without using his inhaler he feels choked. He needs the inhaler to survive the days in captivity. We demand that the Red Cross do its job. Just as it cares for Hamas prisoners in Israel, it must care for the hostages in Gaza."

Shai Wenkert, father of 22-year-old hostage Omer who suffers from colitis, said, Omer has colitis. The Red Cross refuses to take the medicines Omer needs from me. My son's life is in danger. Without these medicines, he's in real mortal danger. I met with the Red Cross president this morning and received vague answers, with no practical actions whatsoever.”

“I expect the Red Cross to be proactive. It is inconceivable that the president of the Red Cross enters the Gaza Strip to visit Palestinian hospitals with no demand to see the hostages. If she cannot provide a minimal response for the hostages, she should not enter at all. If she is unable to do her job, she should declare that she is abandoning the lives of the hostages in Gaza. Time is running out for the hostages. Get them out and bring them home now. I don't need empathy, I need my son home," Wenkert stated.

Prof. Hagai Levine, Head of Medical Team at Families Headquarters, noted that “Nine weeks ago, the families met with Red Cross representatives. They told them that the hostages need their medications, and without them they could die any minute. There are injured, shot and sick people who need immediate life-saving care. The Red Cross told them to think positive.”

“This week we marked International Human Rights Day. The hostages experience violation of their rights every day for nearly 70 days. Some of the hostages are Holocaust survivors who dealt with Dr. Mengele and now have to deal with Hamas' despicable terrorists. They undergo physical, mental and sexual torture. We heard testimonies from those released from Gaza. The world cannot remain silent. The Red Cross cannot remain silent. Make your voices heard now. Do not repeat past mistakes again,” added Levine.