Netanyahu: Hamas is detaining innocent Israelis cruelly

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer and asked for his help in returning the Israelis held captive in Gaza: "We are concerned about this unbelievable cruelty, we have the bodies of our slain soldiers that are kept- even the information about them is kept."
The Israelis being held captive by Hamas Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with head of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer on Wednesday and raised the issue of fallen IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul and the two Israeli civilians- Avera Mengistu and Hisham al Sayyid- who are being held captive by Hamas. "I am convinced that the Red Cross can help," Netanyahu said.

The Prime Minister noted in their conversation that the Red Cross and Israel share a decent and open relationship. "It is very valuable for the Red Cross and for Israel and for peace," Netanyahu told Maurer. "I have to tell you that you come at a time when we are concerned about this unbelievable cruelty, we have the bodies of our slain soldiers that are kept- even the information about them is kept."

Netanyahu and Maurer Photo Credit: GPO/ Channel 2 News

Netanyahu also addressed Mengistu and al Sayyid, who both live with mental health problems. "We have innocent, defenseless Israeli civilians held in Gaza, which you sought to visit, whom we wanted to get information about, but no," stated Netanyahu. "They're kept in a very closed and cruel way."

Netanyahu thanked Maurer for his assistance thus far and slammed Hamas for how they've dealt with the issue. He stressed that the Israeli captives "are being held by Hamas in contravention of all international norms and all of the ideals which the Red Cross has been established for."

Watch: Netanyahu and Maurer

Maurer, who visited Gaza yesterday and discussed the issue with Hamas' leader Yahya Sinwar, told the prime minister that the Red Cross' presence in the region constitutes one of its longest running operations. "We have a mandate on international law but also on helping people and finding practical ways," he said. "I am really looking forward once again to have an opportunity to look into some of the challenges we are all confronted with today and to see how the ICRC can eventually help with one or the other."



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