2 French judges appointed to probe Schalit kidnapping

Moves comes after Noam Schalit appeals to France's judicial system to hold Hamas accountable for 2006 kidnapping of his son.

By SHIRA POLIAK
July 15, 2011 04:37
1 minute read.
Gilad Schalit

Gilad Schalit 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Two French judges were appointed to conduct an investigation into Gilad Schalit’s kidnapping and take action against Hamas earlier this week.

The move was made in response to a complaint Noam Schalit filed in French District Court five weeks ago appealing to the French judicial system to hold the terrorist organization accountable for Schalit’s kidnapping five years ago.

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Schalit is a dual Israeli-French citizen, and French courts can investigate crimes against French citizens overseas, issue warrants and try perpetrators.

Nick Kaufman, an Israeli lawyer for the Schalit family, said that it is significant that two, and not one, judges were appointed.

“Normally only one judge is appointed – but the fact that two were appointed indicates that the French judicial system thinks that this is a case of such magnitude and importance,” he said.

In the next few weeks Kaufman expects that one of the judges will invite Noam Schalit to Paris to hear his complaints in person.

He said that he hopes that the judges “find the people who are most responsible – who we believe to be Khaled Mashaal – and issue arrest warrants.”

On Thursday, a group of 250 French-Israelis and French tourists protested outside the Red Cross in Tel Aviv, demanding that the Red Cross pressure Hamas to reveal a sign of life of Gilad. The protest was organized by a group of French journalists in Israel.

After protesting for an hour, officials from the Red Cross met with the protesters, according to a French journalist.

“The Red Cross has to ask Hamas every week for a sign of life, not one or two times... They are not doing their responsibility,” the journalist said.


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