Deputy Jerusalem Mayor: ‘If Red Cross can visit hostages held by Boko Haram, it can help ours too’

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Deputy Jerusalem Mayor: ‘If Red Cross can visit hostages held by Boko Haram, it can help ours too’

Speaking at a Magen David Adom fundraiser, Fleur Hassan-Nahoum told the 400-plus guests that she was disappointed with the Red Cross's handling of the Israeli hostage crisis

Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and Tzipi Hotovely, Ambassador of Israel
Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and Tzipi Hotovely, Ambassador of Israel

The Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem has challenged the Red Cross over their failure to effectively support Israeli hostages being held in Gaza by the Hamas terrorist group.

Speaking at a fundraiser for the Magen David Adom UK charity in central London on Monday night, Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum said that MDA emergency service workers were there for all people before and since the 7 October terror attack – regardless of their background.

She said: “I am disappointed that the International Red Cross has not shown the same kindness and pluralism back to us. [The Red Cross] is an organisation that works and lives and is made up of every type of person in Gaza. If they can find a way to see hostages being held by Boko Haram, then they can go to Gaza and treat our hostages.”

She made the comments in the wake of Israeli hostages – including men, women, children and the elderly – being released by Hamas in exchange for convicted Palestinian prisoners. There are still 137 Israeli hostages being held in Gaza.

Addressing 420 guests at the central London event, she added: “We are a country in collective trauma. We have people who have suffered directly, while in the rest of the country we all know somebody affected. We are all suffering deeply. Being here with you tonight uplifts our spirits. We are indisputably one family.”

Israeli footballer Manor Solomon attended the MDA event

The Deputy Mayor was joined by a series of speakers at the event, including Shadow Science Secretary Peter Kyle, Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely and four MDA emergency service workers, who came to the UK from Israel to speak about the 7 October. Israeli footballer Manor Solomon – who plays for Tottenham Hotspur – also attended.

Shadow Science Secretary Peter Kyle spoke, saying of the British Jewish community: “In Israel’s darkest hour, you do not run away from the Jewish State. At a time of need, you run towards Israel and its people.”


MDA Dispatch Centre Shift Manager, Sharon Temis, explained to Peter Kyle MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology how the call centre operates on the live feed set up at the Peninsula Hotel

Describing the 7 October attack as “black Saturday”, he also spoke about his own visit eight years ago to Kibbutz Nir Oz. Describing the kibbutz as “peaceful” and a “champion of co-habitation”, he said: “The people I met and have the privilege of getting to know that day, are suffering unimaginable pain right now.”

The MP for Hove – a co-chair of Labour Friends of Israel – went on to stress the importance of UK-Israel collaboration in science, technology and healthcare.

Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely said that after 7 October, “illusions have started to fall apart,” adding: “It is better to live in a reality that is not easy, than an illusion that is shattered. Our duty to the next generation is to never promise peace, when the other side is not interested in peace.”

She went on to hail the work of MDA, describing it as a “vital lifeline to so many Israelis across the country. Medical assistance is needed now, more than ever”.

Chairman of MDA UK, Russell Jacobs

The event – at The Peninsula hotel – was also attended by members of Christian Friends of MDA UK, while the charity’s CEO Daniel Burger also announced that the charity had received support from a Muslim foundation.

At the event, a table was set for 13 MDA workers who were killed in the attacks – with a MDA shirt and Yahrzeit memorial candle by their place settings. MDA emergency vehicles were also displayed – with speakers calling for more funds to be raised to go towards bullet-proof ambulances for MDA, which cost around £300,000 each. So far, MDA UK has raised £13 million for Israel’s national emergency service – noting that when Israel is on high-alert, MDA needs around £250,000 a day to run.

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