Schalits to hold post-treaty PA responsible for son

Parents of kidnapped soldier threaten to petition High Court unless gov't puts pressure on Palestinian Authority to release Gilad.

By RON FRIEDMAN, JPOST.COM STAFF
May 4, 2011 21:18
2 minute read.
Noam and Aviva Schalit at the Schalit support tent

noam and aviva schalit. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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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 Gilad.

The letter stated that the agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas reinforced the Palestinian Authority’s legal responsibilities over the captive soldier.

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“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 needs.

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 family.”

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“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.

“I did 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 us.”

Noam Schalit said Diskin’s words were “too little, too late.”

“Gilad is in Hamas’s cellars, paying the price of failed efforts [to bring him home] for five years already,” Schalit said.

“We regret 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 words.”

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