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Netanyahu: Red Cross refused to give life-saving medicine to hostages in Gaza

Israelis and families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, protest outside a meeting of President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, in Tel Aviv, December 14, 2023. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset on Monday that the organization Red Cross refused to give vital medicine to the hostages being held in captivity by Hamas operatives in Gaza.

“I met with the Red Cross; I handed them a box of medicine for some of the hostages shown here. Some of them really need it...I told a representative to take this box to Rafah; she said 'no.' It was a difficult conversation,” Netanyahu told the special Knesset session attended by families of the hostages.  

“We are sparing no effort, both seen and hidden, to bring all of the hostages home,” the prime minister said.

Last Wednesday, Israeli government Spokesman Eylon Levy posted a video on X showing Netanyahu in a meeting with representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) admitting that had not even attempted to get access to the hostages, while the Israeli leader asked them to “try”.

“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 responded, “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 Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, an Israeli civil rights organization, is suing the ICRC on behalf of a former hostage, Raz Ben Ami, for not acting according to its mandate by visiting the Israeli hostages held in Gaza and for not guaranteeing their safety or taking action to assist in their release. Despite pleas from Ben Ami's family to ICRC representatives in Israel, Germany and the United States, the Red Cross refused to bring her life-saving medication, even though she suffers from brain tumors.

On Friday, the ICRC announced that it had appointed Pierre Krahenbuhl as its next director-general. Krahenbuhl is a controversial figure who served as head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from 2014 until 2019 when he was forced to resign after a damning internal ethics probe.

“Probe found ‘credible & corroborated’ allegations of serious ethical abuses by Krahenbuhl; top staff's ‘sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination & other abuses, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent & to otherwise achieve their personal objectives’” Hillel Neuer, head of UN Watch, the Geneva-based NGO, posted on X on Friday. The UN Watch has a specific mandate to "monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter."

At the time, Krahenbuhl spuriously claimed he had been “pushed out by a Trump-Israel-Jewish cabal,” according to Neuer, who also said the claim was “refuted by the most pro-Palestinian UNRWA officials, academics and journalists.”

“UNRWA has been a breeding ground for Palestinian terrorists from its early day… The perpetrators of the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered… almost all were raised and educated in UNRWA schools…Likewise, Mohamed Deif, the commander of Hamas’s Al Qassem Brigades, who masterminded the October 7th massacre, was also educated in a UNRWA school,” the UN watchdog organization stated in a recent report.

This was shown to be the case in November when a hostage revealed after being released that a UNRWA teacher in Gaza held him captive in his attic for 50 days.

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

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