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Red Cross President to meet with Sinwar to Discuss Israeli Prisoners held by Hamas | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), looks on during a news conference in Geneva September 7, 2012. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Gaza- The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, is expected to meet with Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar to discuss the Israelis detained by the movement, well-informed Palestinian sources told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.

The sources added that the file of missing Israeli soldiers and civilians in Gaza “will be at the top of the agenda of the meeting between Maurer and Sinwar.”

Israel has officially accused Sinwar of obstructing the completion of a swap deal because of “Hamas’ exaggerated demands.”

Maurer begins on Tuesday a three-day visit, during which he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah and other officials in Gaza.

A statement by the ICRC said: “The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrives in Israel and the occupied territories tomorrow, Tuesday September 5, to take stock of the humanitarian situation.”

“In the course of his three-day visit, Peter Maurer will meet with Israeli and Palestinian authorities at the highest level in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza and Tel Aviv to discuss various topics of concern to the ICRC. Mr. Maurer will also undertake a number of field trips to witness the situation on the ground,” the statement added.

It also noted that the ICRC president would share observations from his visit and from his exchanges with the authorities and with civil society representatives during a press conference that would take place on September at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem.

Maurer is expected to meet with families of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. However, it is still unclear whether he will meet the families of missing Israelis in the Gaza Strip, who have recently demanded that the ICRC intervenes and pressures Hamas to determine their fate.