‘’We demand that the ICRC take concrete and rapid action.The ICRC has the means to do so, and is the main NGO capable of taking action to secure the release of these hostages.”
Around 500 members of the Belgian Jewish community rallied Sunday in front of the seat of the Red Cross in Brussels to call for the release ”now” of all the 239 hostages detained in Gaza and to denounce the failure of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to play its humanitarian role and get in contact with the hostages.
”Bring them home now,” they shouted as they showed pictures of the people kidnapped by Hamas terrorists during the 7th of October massacre in southern Israel. Photos of the hostages were also glued to the windows of the Red Cross building
‘’Humanitarian commitment means having access to the hostages, it means checking under what conditions these hostages are being held, whether they have everything they need, whether these children, babies, a newborn, this week, a new hostage was born there, and we can’t understand why there isn’t the slightest sign of humanity on the part of Hamas, which continues to hold children, babies, elderly women, people who need medicine,’’ said Yves Oschinsky, president of CCOJB, the umbrella representative group of Jewish organizations in Belgium.
‘’ This is unbelievable. This is what the Red Cross must come and check out, this is the humanitarian commitment of the Red Cross. It is not doing enough, and if it can’t, it can’t keep quiet,’’ he added.
In the name of the Belgian medical profession, the Jewish community of Belgium and Magen David Adom Belgium, Prof. Maurice Sosnowski read a letter addressed to the president of the ICRC, Mirjana Spoljaric, in which they express their deep concern about the fate of the hostages.
‘’This situation requires the urgent intervention of the ICRC, the International Committee of the Red Cross. Despite international conventions and the ICRC’s mandate, we note with great concern that your organization has not communicated on the actions undertaken, either diplomatically or on the ground, to establish contact with the hostages, ensure their safety and facilitate their release, in accordance with the fundamental humanitarian principles that the ICRC is committed to upholding,’’ the letter reads.
‘’The ICRC’s primary mission is to protect the lives and dignity of people affected by armed conflict, and to ensure humanitarian access to those in distress. It is imperative that concrete steps be taken to ensure that these fundamental principles are respected in the case of these hostages.’’
‘’We therefore demand that the ICRC take concrete and rapid action.The ICRC has the means to do so, and is the main NGO capable of taking action to secure the release of these hostages,’’ the letter adds.