November 28, 2023 | Flash Brief

IDF Calls on Red Cross to Finally Visit Hostages, Seven Weeks On

November 28, 2023 | Flash Brief

IDF Calls on Red Cross to Finally Visit Hostages, Seven Weeks On

Latest Developments

IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari on November 27 called on international organizations, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), “to use every tool at their disposal to gain access to our hostages, to make sure they’re receiving the medical care they need.” U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed that the agreement to pause fighting between Hamas and Israel requires the ICRC to visit Israeli and foreign national hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. “We expect that to be fulfilled,” Sullivan said.

The ICRC has not yet performed its most basic functions of proof of life and verification of medical treatment more than seven weeks after Hamas took approximately 240 hostages into Gaza as part of its October 7 massacre.

Doctors said on November 27 that Elma Avraham, an 84-year-old newly-released hostage, is fighting for her life in an Israeli hospital. Her family says the ICRC failed to provide her medical support during her ordeal.

Expert Analysis

“This hostage crisis is exactly what the Red Cross was built for, yet it has been unable to provide any support to the hostages in Gaza — including Americans. Like many international humanitarian organizations working in the region, the Red Cross has become not only unhelpful but a liability. When the dust settles, the United States should do a full review of which organizations have provided value during this conflict and whether some of these organizations deserve continued support from U.S. taxpayers.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“Visiting hostages in captivity is of utmost importance for the Red Cross due to the high significance of their well-being. These captives, who have experienced traumatic abductions, are highly likely to suffer from various injuries such as malnutrition that call for immediate attention and support.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

“The Red Cross and other international organizations have a mandate to do everything possible to make contact with hostages and provide them with medical care. The international community has let down the hostages in Gaza by not forcefully condemning Hamas or supporting the kidnapped. In addition, the method of transfer for the hostages, moving them through jeering crowds, endangers them and adds to their trauma.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

Elderly Hostage in Critical Condition

Hamas terrorists kidnapped Elma Avraham from Kibbutz Nahal Oz on October 7. “Elma was taken hostage by savage terrorists. She was dragged into Gaza on the back of a motorbike. Elma was in Hamas captivity for 51 days and nights. She was kept in harsh conditions, she was denied life-saving medication,” Hagari said on November 27.

“After being kidnapped for over 50 days, she was evacuated in critical condition,” said Dr. Tzachi Slutsky, the deputy director of Soroka Hospital, on November 27. “It is evident that if Elma had not been transferred back yesterday, her condition would have deteriorated.”

Red Cross Transfer Method Raises Concerns

In each of the four transfers since November 24, hostages have been transported in prominently marked ICRC jeeps without tinted windows or shades, providing Palestinian crowds the ability to see and photograph the hostages inside. Videos posted online show increasingly aggressive demonstrators surrounding the vehicles as they transport the women and children.

Israel and Hamas Agree to Two-Day Extension of Pause in Fighting,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Releases Russian Hostage ‘In Appreciation’ of Moscow,” FDD Policy Brief

Hamas Releases Some Hostages, Roughly 200 Remain Unaccounted For,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Continues to Deny Red Cross Access to Hostages, Proof of Life,” FDD Flash Brief


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