EU Parliament demands Schalit’s release

Move comes a day after becoming first after UN to adopt Goldstone Report.

noam schalit eu parliament 311 (photo credit: AP)
noam schalit eu parliament 311
(photo credit: AP)
The European parliament on Thursday called, by a large majority, for the immediate release of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, who has been held captive by Hamas in Gaza since June 2005.
The move came just one day after the EU Parliament, by a slim majority, became the first institution after the UN to adopt the Goldstone Report, which has accused Israel of possible war crimes in Gaza.
On Thursday, however, the parliament chastised Hamas for its treatment of Schalit, who holds dual Israeli-French citizenship.
In the resolution, the EU said it “deplores the continued disregard for [St.-Sgt.] Schalit’s basic human rights and the fact that his family and the Israeli and French authorities have been prevented from obtaining information regarding his well being.”
It urged Hamas to allow the International Red Cross to visit Schalit, and to let him communicate with his family.
Parliamentarians stressed that “mutual trust-building measures by all sides, including a significant release of Palestinian prisoners, may help to create a constructive atmosphere leading to the release of Sergeant Schalit.”
In addition, it welcomed the opening of proximity negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, saying that it was important to progress toward a two-state solution.
The parliament asked that the resolution be forwarded to all relevantbodies, including Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the 27 memberstates of the EU, as well as top EU politicians such as foreign policychief Catherine Ashton.
Ashton plans to visit both Israel and Gaza next week.
On Friday, the Campaign to Release Gilad Schalit plans to rally for his release in front of the prime minister’s Caesaria home.