(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
It’s time for the International Red Cross to take a much more aggressive
position regarding the freeing of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, including
putting pressure on Damascus, which houses Hamas’s headquarters, Welfare and
Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog said Friday in a meeting with IRC head
Jacob Kellenberger in Geneva.
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Herzog, according to a statement put out by
his office, described the suffering of the Schalit family and Israel’s desire to
obtain some information about his situation.
Kellenberger told Herzog
about the efforts the IRC had made on Schalit’s behalf, and expressed his
organization’s “deep frustration” at Hamas’s “lack of cooperation and hostility”
to the IRC’s “repeated requests” to visit him.
Herzog, who in his
capacity as coordinator of humanitarian aid into Gaza after Operation Cast Lead
had met Kellenberger in the past, discussed with him the humanitarian situation
in Gaza and Israel’s recent decision to ease up on restrictions regarding
exports from the area.
While in Geneva, Herzog also met with UN High
Commissioner for Human rights Navi Pillay, and – in addition to discussing
Schalit – protested the organization’s “obsession” with Israel.