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Sunday, June 11, 2017

From Asharq al-Awsat:

 Hamas has rejected a request by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to reveal the fate of Israeli soldiers that have gone missing in the movement-controlled Gaza Strip.

Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif al-Qanou said: “The case of Israeli soldier prisoners is in the hands of the movement and it alone takes decisions over this issue.”

“It will not comply with such demands from the Red Cross,” he added.

The ICRC had called on Hamas to respect it commitments to International Humanitarian Law in regards to its Israeli soldiers. It had demanded that the movement submit a report on their fate.

Head of the ICRC delegation in Israel Jacques de Maio said that regardless if the prisoners were civilians or soldiers, they are all protected by International Humanitarian Law.
The pan-Arab newspaper doesn't mention that the people Hamas are presumably holding alive are not soldiers. They are Israeli civilians Hisham al-Sayed and Avraham Mengistu, both of whom seems to be mentally ill and who sneaked into Gaza.  A third man, Jumaa Abu Ghanima, entered Gaza in July 2016, "but there is no further information on him and it is unclear if he was arrested or joined a militant group" according to TOI.

Hamas also commented on the tunnel found under an UNRWA school:
UNRWA said that the existence of the tunnels violates all UN privileges and immunities that are granted to it by International Humanitarian Law.

Hamas for its part rejected the UNRWA statement, saying that the movement is not performing any “resistance operations” near the schools.

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