Herzog calls on Red Cross to press Syria on Schalit

Welfare Minister asks NGO to take a more aggressive position on kidnapped soldier, help Israel get information.

Herzog 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Herzog 311
(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.
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.
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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.