GENEVA: The Red Cross has said that its president has met with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar to on humanitarian issues related to the armed conflict in Gaza, Western media reported on Monday.
The International Committee of the Red Cross in a statement said President Mirjana Spoljaric met with Ismail Haniyeh, Chair of Hamas’ Political Bureau.
It said that the president had also met separately with authorities of the state of Qatar.
Since the start of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza on October 7, the conflict has resulted in massive casualties. According to Palestinian authorities at least 13,000 Palestinians have been killed, including over 9,000 women and children, with more than 30,000 others sustaining injuries.
The ICRC added that Spoljaric’s visit was part of efforts to hold direct talks with all sides to improve respect for international humanitarian law.
The relentless air and ground attacks have also caused extensive damage to buildings, including hospitals, mosques, and churches.
The dire situation in Gaza is compounded by an Israeli blockade, severing the region from essential supplies such as fuel, electricity, and water. Aid deliveries to Gaza have reached to a minimum.
The ICRC pointed out that President Mirjana Spoljaric has been regularly meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
ICRC reiterates s appeal for urgent protection of civilians
The Geneva-based organization in the statement reiterated its appeal for the urgent protection of all victims in the conflict.
It said that the ICRC staff in Gaza have been delivering life-saving assistance, and its surgical team continues to perform operations.