The State of Israel will not transfer information to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about Hamas terrorists captured after October 7, 2023 who were imprisoned in Israel, according to a document submitted to the High Court of Justice late Tuesday by the State Attorney’s Office changing a previous decision to share information, according to a report by Israel’s N12 News.
The state document was submitted in response to a petition filed against the prison service and other security agencies on behalf of 60 suspects arrested in Gaza and transferred for investigation and incarceration in Israel.
The petition, submitted by the Center for the Protection of the Individual, seeks the release information to the Red Cross about where the suspected terrorists are incarcerated and requesting permission for them to meet with an attorney.
The change followed strong opposition by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.
“My clear policy from the first moment is ‘humanitarian for humanitarian’, Ben Gvir said in a statement Wednesday morning.
“They want details about their damned terrorists? Then they must pass on details about our heroic abductees. This is a logical, normal, moral and legal demand; any normal country would demand this,” he said.
“It is good that the State Attorney’s Office understood and accepted the position I took.”
Last Thursday Israel’s Channel 12 News reported that Israel planned to agree to a request by the Red Cross to hand over information on 60 Gazan detainees who were arrested and incarcerated in Israeli prisons after October 7, 2023.
This, despite the fact that the Red Cross has not visited any of the Israeli abductees and has not provided any details about them. The Red Cross has also refused to receive any medication for the hostages — not from the captives’ families who met with the agency’s director in Geneva, and not from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting in Tel Aviv.
In its draft position, the state originally supported the delivery of the information, in accordance with the position of Israeli security agencies.
However, that position was changed by Tuesday night. “In the circumstances of the difficult war in which we find ourselves, it was decided that such information will not be given to private applicants or public petitioners,” the state wrote in the document submitted late Tuesday.
“During the war, the security forces arrested residents of the Gaza Strip on suspicion of involvement in hostilities against Israel, who invaded Israel or were involved during the fighting. These detainees are under Israeli law, and are held in military prison facilities and later, as required, are to be transferred to the Shin Bet,” the state’s response noted, according to Ynet.
The State Attorney’s Office urged the Court to reject the petition on the grounds that the State of Israel is in an official state of war with Hamas, unlike past military operations carried out with the terrorist organization, such as the 2009 Operation Cast Lead and 2014 Operation Protective Edge.