GENEVA (November 26, 2023) – Teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Friday, November 24, began carrying out a multi-day operation to facilitate the release and transfer of hostages held in Gaza and of Palestinian detainees to the West Bank. The operation will include the delivery of additional, much-needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza.
In its role as a neutral intermediary, the ICRC over several days will transfer hostages held in Gaza to Israeli authorities and ultimately their families, and transfer Palestinian detainees to authorities in the West Bank, to be reunited with their families. The ICRC will also bring in additional medical supplies to be delivered to hospitals in Gaza, reinforcing the aid deliveries the ICRC has already carried out.
The parties to the conflict agreed to the details of the operation, including who would be released and when. The ICRC was not involved in the negotiations, and its role is to help facilitate the agreement as a neutral intermediary.
“The deep pain that family members separated from their loved ones feel is indescribable. We are relieved that some will be reunited after long agony,” said Fabrizio Carboni, the ICRC’s regional director for the Near and Middle East. “Our deep desire is for all hostages to be released, and that civilians be shielded from the pain and suffering that armed conflict brings.”
All hostages and detainees, including children, must be treated with humanity, and humanitarian principles must be respected, at all times, including during the releases and transfers. (ICRC, contributed article to BMN/BangsamoroToday)