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Former Israeli hostage Raz Ben Ami files lawsuit against Red Cross

Accuses the organization of neglecting Israeli hostages in Gaza, her husband is still being held captive by Hamas

Raz Ben Ami after being released from Hamas captivity, advocating for her husbands release who is still in Gaza (Photo: Screenshot)

Former Israeli hostage Raz Ben Ami, who was abducted from her home by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7, is suing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for not acting according to its mandate to visit the Israeli hostages held in Gaza and for not guaranteeing their safety or taking action to assist in their release.

Ben Ami was abducted with her husband Ohad from Kibbutz Be’eri, a rural community close to the border with the Gaza Strip, when Hamas terrorists invaded, massacred some 1,200 people and kidnapped 240 hostages back to Gaza.

Ben Ami suffers from brain tumors and needs medication, however, despite pleas from her family to the ICRC to bring her the life-saving medication, ICRC officials in Israel, Germany and the United States all rejected the family’s urgent requests.

Ben Ami was released from captivity in late November, after nearly two months in extreme inhumane conditions, but her husband remains a hostage in Gaza. During her captivity, she was kept apart from her husband.

The Shurat Hadin Israeli Law Center, an Israeli civil rights organization, is representing Ben Ami and her family and has filed a lawsuit in the Jerusalem District Court. According to the suit, the family’s appeals to the ICRC officials were acknowledged with an email dismissing the issue with a message wishing the family luck with “reconnecting with their loved ones.”

“The International Red Cross is reliving its mistakes of the Holocaust, when it abandoned the Jewish people in its darkest period in history,” Shurat HaDin founder and President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said in a joint statement. “We cannot accept this disregard and disrespect for human life just because they are Jewish.”

She also said that the ICRC is biased and does not care about the hostages.

Ben Ami said that her two months in captivity were unbearable.

“At present, in the state that Gaza is in, it is not possible to cope,” she said. “There are no medicines. I took a medicine and at some stage [a Hamas member] said to me, ‘We don't have your medicine anymore’,” she said.

She also told Israeli media that she and other hostages received just one meal per day and that pouring water over one’s head was the only kind of shower available. The toilets would not flush.

“It's an everyday humiliation, mentally and physically,” she added.

On Wednesday, Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy published a video on X showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a meeting with representatives from the ICRC, where ICRC officials admitted they were not even attempting to get access to the hostages.

“You have every avenue, every right, and every expectation to place public pressure on Hamas,” the prime minister told the ICRC representatives.

“It’s not going to work,” the ICRC delegation told him. “Because the more public pressure we seemingly would do, the more they [Hamas] will shut the door.”

“Oh, I’m not sure about that,” Netanyahu said.

“Yes, they would,” one of the ICRC representatives said.  

“Well, why don’t you try?” Netanyahu asked.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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