Israeli forum demands Red Cross chief to immediately provide medicines to hostages

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The Israeli Hostages and Missing Families Forum has demanded visiting International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Mirjana Spoljaric Egger to immediately provide medicine to the captives being held in Gaza by the Hamas militant group Spoljaric arrived in Israel on Thursday for the first time since the October 7 Hamas assault. In a statement on Thursday night, the Forum said: “We are demanding the immediate transfer of medicines to hostages. Just as you see to medicines for Hamas prisoners, ensure medicines reach the hostages.”

The Forum’s spokesperson Liat Bell Sommer also asked the Red Cross chief to “do your job, get access to the hostages and provide them with life-saving medicines”. Meanwhile, Shai Wenkert, father of 22-year-old hostage Omer Wenkert, said: “The Red Cross refuses to take life-saving medicines for Omer from me. If it is unable to do its job, it should declare that it is giving up on the lives of the hostages in Gaza. “My son’s life is in danger. Without these medicines, he’s in real mortal danger. I met with the Red Cross president and received vague answers, with no practical actions whatsoever. I expect the Red Cross to be proactive.

“It is inconceivable that the president of the Red Cross enters the Gaza Strip to visit Palestinian hospitals with no demand to see the hostages. If she cannot provide a minimal response for the hostages, she should not enter at all. If she is unable to do her job, she should declare that she is abandoning the lives of the hostages in Gaza. Time is running out for the hostages. Get them out and bring them home now. I don’t need empathy, I need my son home.”

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The Forum also announced that starting from Friday, they will place a huge container in Hostages Square — located in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art where families of the hostages and supporters have encamped. It called on everybody to fill the container with medicines and hygiene products for the captives. Merav Raviv, the niece of Avraham Munder who is still held captive in Gaza, said: ” Friday marks 69 days that Avraham has been living in appalling conditions in Gaza without receiving the medicines he needs.

There are elderly hostages who returned in very poor condition and there is even a hostage who died in captivity due to lack of care. “Every additional minute in captivity is effectively a death sentence for them. We demand that the Red Cross enter Gaza and provide life-saving medicines to the hostages. We ask all the people of Israel to come to the Hostages Square and bring medicines, hygiene products and anything else you think could help our hostages in this area.”

Malki Shem Tov, the father of hostage Omer Shem Tov who suffers from asthma, said: “Omer suffers from severe asthma and breathing difficulties. Without using his inhaler he feels choked. He needs the inhaler to survive the days in captivity. :We demand that the Red Cross do its job. Just as it cares for Hamas prisoners in Israel, it must care for the hostages in Gaza.” Prof. Hagai Levine, Head of the Medical Team at Families Headquarters, said: “They undergo physical, mental and sexual torture. We heard testimonies from those released from Gaza. The world cannot remain silent. The Red Cross cannot remain silent. Make your voices heard now. Do not repeat past mistakes again.”