Conflicts & War

‘The level of human suffering is intolerable’: President of the ICRC

Jerusalem, Dec 4 (EFE).- The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mirjana Spoljaric, arrived in Gaza on Monday for a visit in which she denounced that “the level of human suffering is intolerable.”

She called for the protection of civilians under international law and demanded the release of the hostages still being held in the Gaza Strip.

“I repeat our urgent call for civilians to be protected in line with the laws of war and for aid to enter unimpeded,” stated Spoljaric on her X Account (formerly Twitter).

During the one-week ceasefire between Hamas and Israel from Nov. 24 and Dec 1, Hamas released 105 Israeli and international hostages to the Red Cross, which coordinated their return to Israel through Egypt.

After a ceasefire truce broke down, 122 prisoners believed by Israel to be alive remain in Gaza. The ICRC is working to secure their return to Israel. “The hostages must be released and ICRC allowed to safely visit them,” said Spoljaric.

Nearly 15,900 people have been killed by Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip since the conflict erupted on Oct. 7 when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing more than 1,200.

The Red Cross has also been involved in the logistics of the release by Israel of Palestinian prisoners as part of the ceasefire and exchange for Israeli hostages, women and children on both sides.

Throughout this conflict period, the Red Cross has faced criticism from both Israelis and Palestinians.

The ICRC has been criticized for not providing more aid or visiting hostages held by Hamas, while Palestinian groups have criticized the entity for not putting pressure on Israel to demand the release or improved conditions for Palestinian prisoners.

While in Gaza, Spoljaric is expected to press Hamas and Palestinian militias to allow Red Cross committees to visit Israeli hostages still held, as requested by the families of those abducted. EFE

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