Sister of Abductee Speaks Out

Sister of Abductee: How the Hell is the Red Cross not Getting to Us?

Yarden Gonen, the sister of Romi who was abducted to Gaza, participated in the health committee and pointed an accusing finger at the international health organizations. Gonen demanded that the Ministry of Health publish an incisive report on the health of the abductees.

(Photo: Knesset Channel)

Yarden Gonen, the sister of Romi who was abducted to Gaza from the party in Re'im, participated in the Knesset's health committee and criticized the fact that the state does not make the voice of the abductees heard in health ministries around the world and pointed an accusing finger at the Red Cross.

I am sitting here sixty days after (the abduction) and a week of releases in the outline defined by the government. They're women, mothers and children and literally every day this could be my sister and then another day goes by and so another week goes by and then I wake up in the morning, there's no list and we're back to war," she said at the beginning of her words.

Yarden Gonen (Photo: Knesset Channel)

She added, "How can I or anyone live with themselves knowing that everyone there must not have chosen to stay there and feels abandoned. People who returned, the first thing they said, you forgot us? Don't you care? How does my sister feel now that she knows that women were released and that I know there are families who saw her and she saw them being released."

According to her, "five days have passed since the resumption of fighting and they are taking care of the health and mental state of those who returned, this is very important and a very necessary lesson. It is simply not satisfactory, how yesterday a mother and her daughter who were released came to the square and said we cannot take care of ourselves when we know there are 17 more women and 120 men of all ages. How can I sit and take care of myself when I know what they're going through there, how they're supposed to handle the plan you made. It's relevant but at the same time it's not relevant at all. I need my sister at home.

"They need their father, child, grandfather, son. Everyone there is someone's child. Where is the Ministry of Health in the war facing the ministries of health in the world. You have such a great and strong power to make our voices heard in front of other ministries of health. In the second week of the fighting there was a meeting of all the ministers of health in the European Union, I don't know if we received representation there. I received an update on this by chance and begged to be allowed to travel. This matter first and foremost is humanitarian and a health issue and we treat it incorrectly. In a car accident, the injured are evacuated first, my sister is injured."

"I think every day about what will happen when my sister comes back, and the first thing I deal with is not her injury, which, fortunately, I received evidence that she is alive but neglected. Every day she is there, she lives with the knowledge that she saw her best friend murdered in front of her face. How can we leave them there. I have no words to emphasize - how much longer can we carry this."

"Why do I have to beg the Red Cross?"

Yarden sent an accusing finger towards the health workers in Israel and the organizations in the world. "I see that all the health representatives from the country and the world are unable to make this issue move forward, I am losing faith in the world of medicine and women. Why? Because of something happening to us that none of us asked for because of other people's irresponsibility and hatred."

According to her, "How the hell does the president of the Red Cross come to Gaza and not come to Israel to talk to the families. How do we beg the Red Cross, the World Health Organization, women's organizations. Why do I have to beg? I have to prove my sister's innocence in some way? Why do we need to ask or suggest what to do? People should figure it out on their own."

She also stated that she requests that "today the Ministry of Health publish an incisive medical report on the health of the abductees that we be sent to all health ministries in the world, to the ministers of welfare. Because if we don't use power from within the medical world, it is impossible to say that our Ministry of Health cares for everyone. Because it means we haven't made all the efforts. We are sitting here 60 days later and there has not been a clear report on the medical condition - we know about their condition according to those released. Nobody cares about them right now."

In conclusion, she said, "I want to leave you with a thought, why did Hamas choose not to release my sister, why did it choose to make a selection? As long as even one of them has not returned, there is no point in any other war, not military, not for their rehabilitation, not economic. If they are not here, nothing can move forward. Until efforts are made from all directions that they will all be here, any other effort is wasted."

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