ICRC president to meet with families of hostages
President Spoljaric will also meet with Israel's foreign minister and health minister alongside the families.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has been persistently advocating on behalf of the hostages held in Gaza, including directly with Hamas and with actors who may have influence on the parties.
Families of hostages are living through an incredibly heart-wrenching time, and I want to underscore how hard we are advocating on behalf of their loved ones. This is a key priority for me, and I know the enormous pain the families are enduring,
“Hostage-taking is prohibited under international humanitarian law. We continue to insist on the hostages’ release and are doing everything in our power to gain access to them. We cannot do this alone; agreements must be reached that allow the ICRC to safely carry out this work.”
“We are deeply concerned that children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable people are among those held,” said President Spoljaric.
“Communities understandably yearn for positive developments regarding the hostages, and I want to assure them that we will not stop working for their release. Please know that the ICRC cannot force its way in to where hostages are held. We can only visit them when agreements, including safe access, are in place.”
The ICRC continues to request information on the hostages and their current health condition, and it is working to clarify the fate of those unaccounted for. The hostages must be treated humanely, have access to medical care, and be able to communicate with their loved ones. The ICRC stands ready to facilitate their release, as it has done for four hostages so far.
The ICRC works to aid victims on all sides of conflict. Given the devastating humanitarian impacts in Gaza and Israel, we continue to urge the parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law and, in particular, to spare civilians from the conduct of military operations.
In the past weeks, the ICRC has stepped up its humanitarian response in Gaza, in particular its support for emergency healthcare, amid the dangerous and chaotic conditions.
Planning note for the media: There will be no access at ICRC headquarters on Tuesday for journalists to speak with the families or officials.
About the ICRC
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a neutral, impartial and independent organization with an exclusively humanitarian mandate that stems from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. It helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other violence, doing everything it can to protect their lives and dignity and to relieve their suffering, often alongside its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners.
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