The Red Cross has not met any hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who met the organization’s director in Geneva on Tuesday, news agency AFP reported. “Until today, none of our hostages met the Red Cross,” Cohen informed reporters, adding: “We don’t have any proof of life.”
Cohen and Israel’s Health Minister Uriel Menachem Buso met with Mirjana Spoljaric, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to address the conflict that erupted following the Hamas strikes on October 7.
“We asked for information… about the whereabouts of the hostages,” Buso said, adding: “The wounded ones, the babies, any information that they can give us regarding proof of life.”
The overall death toll from combat between Israeli soldiers and terrorists in Palestinian territory has risen to 11,320, according to the Hamas leadership in Gaza, news agency AFP reported. According to the government, the deceased included 4,650 children and 3,145 women. The administration has struggled to establish an accurate toll of the dead amidst fierce urban battle in northern Gaza.
Family members of several of the captives held by Hamas in Gaza were also present at the discussion, as well as the subsequent news conference at the United Nations. They displayed photos of their lost loved ones and played audio and video recordings captured at the moment several were abducted.
“We are here to shout for them, and we need to bring them justice,” said Ofri Bibas Levy, holding up a photo of her nephew Kfir Bibas, the youngest of the captives, who was nine months old when he was kidnapped together with his parents and four-year-old brother.
“We need to bring them home as soon as possible,” she told reporters.
Qatar, the United States, and Egypt have all been involved in hostage rescue efforts. Following Qatari mediation, Hamas released four ladies, while the Israeli army released one detained soldier.