Jacques De Maio, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross's delegation in Israel and "the occupied territories," told the Hamas paper Al-Risalah Net that he had contacted Hamas about the fate of captured Israelis after receiving requests from their families.
According to De Maio, contact between the Red Cross and the families of missing Israelis currently held in Gaza has been completely covert.
The Red Cross relayed the request for details about the missing Israelis to Hamas, according to De Maio, but he refused to divulge the response given by the Hamas terrorist organization regarding their fate.
Aside from two Israelis – Avraham Mengistu and an unnamed Bedouin Israeli – who apparently entered Gaza months ago due to mental illness before being captured by Hamas, the terror group is holding the bodies of two IDF soldiers – Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin – who were killed in last summer's war.
The Red Cross representative stated that the issue of Israeli civilians being held in Gaza is not a matter for negotiations by his group according to international law.
"In a case in which bodies are found every side must make that known and hand them over," said De Maio. "The situation is different for the living captives, who are not included under international law in the category of an obligation to hand them over, but the law forbids using violence against them."
Hamas has rejected negotiations with Israel or handing over any information about the fallen soldiers and the missing civilians that it is currently holding.
It has stipulated that all rearrested terrorists who were freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal, as well as terrorists that were part of the cancelled final batch of releases during 2013-2014 peace talks in which 78 terrorists were freed, must be released.