Fruitful’ meeting between ICRC head, Hamas leader in Gaza


Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Peter Maurer met the head of Hamas’ Political Bureau in Gaza, Yahya Al-Sinwar, today and said the meeting was “fruitful”.

In a very brief appearance after a meeting with Al-Sinwar in Gaza, he said: “It was a fruitful meeting. We discussed the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, as well as respecting international law.”

Spokeswoman of the ICRC in Gaza Suhair Zaqqout told MEMO that Maurer is not set to hold press briefings in Gaza.

However, in a closed meeting with representatives of the local community and young activists, he said: “The situation in Gaza is a violation of international law. We are hearing from you to pass your voice to the international decision makers and the world.”

Maurer will then travel to the West Bank, the ICRC spokeswoman said, where he plans to meet the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas then onto Jerusalem to meet the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Zaqqout said that Maurer is going hold a press conference in Jerusalem to give details about his three-day visit.

Maurer entered Gaza – which has been under strict Israeli siege for 11 years and has been through three major Israeli offensives during the past 10 years – through the Erez Crossing. The Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt has been tightly sealed for the most part since Mohammed Morsi was ousted in 2013.

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