The Gaza office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced on Friday that 19 Palestinians are still missing following the 2014 Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. According to spokeswoman Suhair Zaqqout, the ICRC has been making efforts to determine the fate of the 19 lost during the offensive.
“As a neutral body,” she explained, “we have asked the Israeli authorities to help in identifying the lost Palestinians for the sake of their families.” The Red Cross official noted that the organisation has not received any response from Israel. Zaqqout’s comments came as the ICRC called for Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza to provide information about the Israeli soldiers captured during and after the 2014 offensive.
“Intentional blocking of information about any person lost in any armed conflict is a violation of international humanitarian law,” she pointed out. This was an indirect warning to the Israelis, who have refused consistently to release information about the lost Palestinians as requested by the ICRC.
Hundreds of Palestinians have been lost during successive Israeli offensives since the start of Israel’s creation and occupation of Palestine in 1948.