The family members of the American citizens held in Gaza are calling on the International Committee of the Red Cross to act on its imperative to deliver life-saving care to the hostages immediately.
“While we are relieved by the safe return of hostages over the last week, we are extremely concerned about the dire condition of those who remain in captivity. We are outraged knowing our loved ones, including those with grave injuries, have not yet received the critically needed medical care and humanitarian aid from the Red Cross to which they are entitled under the pause agreement with Hamas," the families said in a statement which was released on Friday and quoted by Haaretz.
They noted that the US “funds 25% of the Red Cross’s budget. Yet not a single American hostage has been visited to date. After 55 days of agony, we still don’t know anything about the condition of our loved ones, but we do know many of them were taken with life-threatening injuries, and they need medical attention now."
“We call on the Red Cross to demand immediate, unfettered access to the nearly 150 hostages still in captivity… The Red Cross is neglecting sick, critically wounded, and disabled people at a time of greatest need. We need action now to save their lives.”
The families called on the financial institutions and major donors on whom the International Committee on the Red Cross relies—including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and PayPal, as well as US celebrity and financial donors—to leverage their influence and power by joining us in our demand for the Red Cross to take immediate action.
Since October 7, when Hamas carried out its massacre against Israel and abducted more than 240 people, the Red Cross has not visited the hostages.
Two weeks ago, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Health Minister Uriel Busso and representatives of the families of the hostages met with Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in Geneva and demanded that she ensure that the Red Cross visit the Israeli hostages held in Gaza and provide medical treatment to the hostages who need it.
Prior to that, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Spoljaric 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.
The ceasefire agreement which saw Hamas release some of the hostages it was holding included a clause which was supposed to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit the hostages who remain in captivity. This, however, did not to happen.
Busso on Wednesday blasted the Red Cross and said that it is “ignoring with complete insensitivity requests to transfer and make available information to Magen David Adom regarding the safety of the hostages.”
“It is time to speak with a clear voice, Hamas is a terrorist organization that slaughtered and kidnapped women, children and the elderly. We need an organization that will protect and give hope to the families of the captives, and provide medical information. Any other conduct is consent and support for terrorism,” he added.