A senior Red Cross official on Wednesday compared Israel with the Hamas terrorist organization, saying that both sides refuse to allow visitations for prisoners.
Hamas is holding 136 hostages captured during its Oct. 7 assault on the northwestern Negev.
“Since October 7, Israel has suspended visits to the Palestinian prisoners in the prisons. At the same time, Hamas has so far not allowed visits to the abductees it is holding. This is unacceptable,” Red Cross Regional Director for the Near and Middle East Fabrizio Carboni said in an interview with London-based Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
Carboni said that the International Red Cross visits Palestinian security prisoners in Israel and facilitates visits by their families, pointing an accusatory finger at Israel: “As of October 7, the Israeli authorities made a decision to suspend the visits through the International Red Cross. We regret this and continue to talk to those concerned to resume these visits.”
He added that “it is also sad that Hamas does not allow us to visit the abductees it is holding.”
Red Cross President Mirjana Spoljaric in December also blamed Israel, telling Channel 12 that “both” Hamas and Israel were responsible for the ICRC’s failure to reach the hostages.
Since Oct. 7, the International Red Cross has been helping imprisoned Palestinian terrorists receive controversial stipends from the Palestinian Authority, according to Israeli NGO Palestinian Media Watch.
According to PMW, incarcerated Palestinians fill out forms to receive the stipends, and the Red Cross delivers the paperwork to Ramallah.
Israeli rights organization Shurat HaDin last month announced the filing of a 10 million shekel (nearly $2.8 million) lawsuit on behalf of 24 plaintiffs against the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Filed in the Jerusalem District Court, the lawsuit accuses the Geneva-based ICRC of delaying action in the aftermath of Hamas’s Oct.7 massacre, and failing to visit or provide medical assistance to the hostages held by the terrorist group.
Israeli hostages in Gaza were supposed to receive badly needed medicines that entered the Strip nearly one week ago as part of a Qatari-French deal, but there is no evidence that the medicines reached them.