Noam Schalit presses Amnesty to urge Hamas to release Gilad
Father of captive soldier reminds that Goldstone Report urges Hamas to grant Gilad the rights and privileges of a prisoner of war.
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
Noam Schalit called on Amnesty International to pressure Hamas to release his son Gilad, who has been held in Gaza since June 2006.“I expect Amnesty International to use its high-profile international status to ensure that whenever it has reason to contact any high ranking official of the Hamas organization, it calls for Gilad’s immediate release,” Noam said in a letter he wrote to Amnesty on Wednesday.“I look forward to receiving information as to whether your communication with the Hamas organization included such a reference to my son. Should this not be the case, I would be most grateful for your assurance that you will write a further letter in the coming days to remind the Hamas organization of its obligation under international humanitarian law to release my son,” he wrote.He reminded Amnesty that the Goldstone Report, which examined possible human rights violations by Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, called on Hamas to free Gilad Schalit. He added that the report also urged Hamas to grant Gilad the rights and privileges of a prisoner of war.Hamas told the authors of the Goldstone Report that Gilad was being held in accordance with the Third Geneva Convention of 1949.“If this assertion is to be taken at face value, you will appreciate the importance of obliging the Hamas organization to act in a manner consistent with its public statements,” Noam Schalit said.Hamas has not allowed anyone, including the Red Cross, to visit Gilad.
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