Schalits to Obama: Freeze all PA aid until Gilad released

In letter sent to US Congress leaders, Noam, Aviva Schalit say request is in line with resolutions unanimously passed by the US gov't.

By OR SCHWARTZ
May 23, 2011 18:55
2 minute read.
Captured soldier Gilad Schalit in video

Gilad Schalit in video 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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The parents of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, Noam and Aviva Schalit, called on US President Barack Obama to freeze all aid to the Palestinian Authority until their son is released from Hamas captivity, in a letter sent to two high-ranking American government officials on Monday.

According to the letter sent to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House of Representatives Congressman John Boehner, the call to freeze PA aid is in line with resolutions unanimously passed in the House of Representatives in May 2010 and in the Senate in June 2010.

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The Schalits' request also refers to an additional letter sent to Obama by 29 democratic senators which called on the US president to stop financial aid to the PA after the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement fused the terror group into the PA's government.

"Republican members of Congress also support such an approach," the letter stated.

"Clearly, the Palestinian Authority's sphere of influence and responsibility now extends to [the] Gaza Strip as well and with one government comes one responsibility," the letter continued.

As a result of the reconciliation agreement, the PA has become "directly responsible" for Schalit's health and must "abide by all its international commitments and accepted
norms of international behavior."



"Hamas is committing a war crime," the letter declared. The PA has a clear duty to do everything in its capacity to locate Gilad and is responsible for stopping "this war crime from being perpetuated by ensuring that he is released immediately."

As leader of the PA, "it is time that [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] delivers. US pressure "may strengthen his resolve to work towards that end," the letter explained.

For the duration of Gilad's captivity, Hamas has refused to allow a visit by the Red Cross and direct communication with his family. Under International Law, Gilad has been "deprived of all of his most fundamental human rights," the letter states.

Hamas is "flagrantly breaching all accepted norms of international behavior and international law." According to the Rome Statute of the International Court 1998, Article 8 Clause 8, "it is clearly against international law, to use a hostage as a pawn for bargaining and extortion purpose. Hamas is doing and they are guilty of this war crime as outlined in the statute, amongst others."

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