GAZA (AFP) – The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross met with Hamas’s hardline Gaza Strip chief Tuesday as he began a three-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Peter Maurer met with Yahya Sinwar, whose Islamist movement runs the strip, as well as civil society groups in the Palestinian enclave.
Maurer told journalists afterwards that he and Sinwar had a “good conversation” about a range of issues including the humanitarian situation in Gaza and international humanitarian law.
“I want to assure the Gazan population and authorities here the ICRC will continue to do its best to support those who are suffering most from the situation,” Maurer said.
He will also meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the visit.
Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.
Much of the international community considers Hamas a terrorist organisation and will not meet with it, but the ICRC meets with all parties in conflicts as part of its mandate.