Aviva and Noam Schalit sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu Wednesday, threatening to petition the High Court if he does not
convene a meeting with the defense and finance ministers and find ways to
pressure the Palestinian Authority to ensure the release of their son
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The letter stated that the agreement signed between Fatah and
Hamas reinforced the Palestinian Authority’s legal responsibilities over the
“We demand that in light of the new situation, the
transfer of tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority be delayed until the
release of Gilad, whose fate is now in the hands of the PA,” the Schalits wrote
in the letter.
The Schalits, and their attorneys Amir Kadri and Gilad
Sher, wrote that delaying such a meeting would be considered extremely
unreasonable and disproportionate on the part of the government and justify the
intervention of the High Court of Justice.
Kadri said that Schalit’s
abduction and captivity constitute a war crime and that international law
demands that the PA release him and provide for his humanitarian
Kadri said that “even if Schalit is, mistakenly, considered a
prisoner of war, the PA is answerable to the international treatise, primarily
the Geneva Accords, and [should] inform of his place of imprisonment, ensure
regular visits by the Red Cross and regular contact with his
“The government must make it clear to the PA that upon signing
the treaty, Israel saw the PA as the sole party responsible for meeting the
conditions of the Geneva Accords,” Sher said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Shin
Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin claimed “personal responsibility”
for Israel’s failure to secure Gilad’s release during his term.
not succeed in securing his release – not in a military operation or through
negotiations – and I see myself, as head of the Shin Bet, as the person
responsible,” Diskin said. “I feel great sadness that Gilad is not with
Noam Schalit said Diskin’s words were “too little, too
“Gilad is in Hamas’s cellars, paying the price of failed efforts
[to bring him home] for five years already,” Schalit said.
that all those responsible for the blunders and failures that were made since
the kidnapping did not claim responsibility in the form of actions, rather in