ICRC- Must Locate and Facilitate Release of Hostages



A coalition of 50 organizations urge the ICRC to verify the status of more than 150 Israelis kidnapped in the Gaza Strip

In the wake of Hamas’ barbaric rampage through the civilian communities of southern Israel, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice leads a coalition of 50 organizations in urging the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to verify the status of the 150+ Israeli hostages taken into captivity in Gaza. Here

This list reflects a broad consensus between Israel and the global Diaspora, religious and secular organizations. In this dark time for our nation, our hearts are moved by the opportunity to speak with one voice. In addition to sending this letter, we are requesting an urgent meeting with the Jerusalem staff of the ICRC and plan to bring some of the families of the Israeli hostages to that meeting to make personal the urgency of our appeal.

“Hamas has openly advertised its penchant for torturing, raping, denying medical treatment, degrading, humiliating, and threatening to execute these hostages,” said Uri Morad, Director of International Law & Public Diplomacy for the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ). “The International Red Cross must act urgently to locate and establish communication with the kidnapped Israelis if it has any hope of fulfilling its mission and bringing an end to this war.”
In a joint letter, JIJ advocacy efforts were joined by prominent Israeli, North American, and European organizations who are committed to countering anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias, including the Anti-Defamation League, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, NGO Monitor, Middle East Forum, and StandWithUs. The group also included several Jewish and Christian communities, including the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, Israel Christian Nexus, and numerous diaspora synagogues.

Specifically, the coalition urged the International Red Cross to take the following steps:
• Locate and establish communication with the Israelis held hostage in the Gaza Strip.
• Call for Hamas to cease its heinous acts of raping and sexually abusing Israelis.
• Condemn the use of human shields as military targets, including hospitals and schools, and the horrifying practice of exhibiting and mutilating dead bodies.
• Facilitate the immediate return of the Israeli hostages.

“This past week constitutes the worst time in Jewish history since the Holocaust, a time when the International Red Cross was, by its own admission, ‘impotent’ in the face of Nazi persecution and genocide,” said Flavia Sevald, CEO of JIJ. “In today’s war, the perpetrators may have changed, but their agenda is the same. The International Red Cross has a double duty to get it right this time.”

Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) is the only Israeli human rights NGO with consultative status before the United Nations that is pro-Israel. Within the international community, JIJ has persistently advocated for the release of Israeli citizens from captivity. Within Israel, JIJ provides free legal aid to minority ethnic and religious groups, with a track record of 25 precedent-setting victories in the Israeli Supreme Court.

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