Shalit to UNHRC: Demand that Hamas Release Gilad



By: DAN VERBIN  
Published: March 22nd 2010
in News » World

Noam Shalit
Pic: archive

On Monday, Noam Shalit spoke at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. He urged the organization to do more for the plight of his son, captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held in captivity in Gaza for over three years.

 

He asked the UNHRC, which was behind the commission that authored the Goldstone report, to do everything it can to press for the release of his son. He also reminded it that as a human rights body it must insist that Hamas needs to follow the Geneva convention and repsect basic human rights laws as long as his son is still held prisoner.

 

Shalit was in Geneva with his wife Aviva speaking on behalf of the Women's International Zionist Organization.

 

He told the assembled audience about the details surroundings his son's kidnapping from Kerem Shalom in June 2006.

 

"Today, almost four years later, our son remains in Hamas captivity, and serves as a bargaining chip for the release of prisoners. No one knows if he is healthy, no one knows where he is being held, he is deprived of daylight, he is deprived of his basic human rights," he said.

 

He added that Judge Richard Goldstone, who authored the controversial Goldstone report on the Gaza war, was "clear with regards to Gilad, and his recommendations were immediate. He called for Gilad to receive visits from the Red Cross, he called for Gilad to be allowed to make contact with us – his parents. He called for Gilad's release."

 

Shalit noted that Hamas has not made any attempts to fulfill those obligations.

 

"Hamas did not do any of these things, despite its telling the UN Human Rights Council that it is holding Gilad in accordance with the Third Geneva Convention.”

 

Shalit explained that he and his wife were in Geneva not as politicians or representatives of the Israeli government, but as parents who were there with the support of Women's International Zionist Organization on behalf of families and children worldwide.

 

"We are here to speak with the support of 500 million citizens of the democratic European Union, that have called for Gilad's release via a parliament decision in Strasbourg. We are here to speak with the support of the UN secretary general, who urged for Gilad's release on humanitarian grounds. We are here to speak with the support of civilized countries, which condemn kidnapping and extortion,” he said.

 

Appealing directly to the UNHRC, which approved the Goldstone report, he challenged the body to show that it is fair-minded and honest by demanding “Hamas stand by its word, and allow Gilad to receive the rights of a prisoner of war. To insist that Hamas releases our son. To insist on these things. Otherwise, the failure will be not only ours, but yours as well."




Related articles: (Noam Shalit, Gilad Shalit, Goldstone, UNHRC)



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