Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On Gilad Shalit and Human Rights Groups

Take note:

The exchange of 477 Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held by Hamas, has highlighted calls by several human rights organizations and NGOs for Israel to stop violating international law by removing Palestinians from occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

“Holding these prisoners and detainees in Israel flagrantly breaches international humanitarian law, which prohibits the transfer of civilians, including prisoners and detainees, from the occupied territory to the territory of the occupying state,” according to Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem.

“Israel’s disregard for this prohibition is one of the main reasons that the prisoners and their families are unable to exercise their right to visits in a reasonable manner,” B’Tselem added.  Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has made similar calls.

...The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continues to call on Israel to allow the resumption of the family visit programme for Gazans, suspended in 2007 after Shalit was captured.

Consider this:

Since June 25, 2006, when Gilad Shalit’s captivity began, NGOs that claim a human rights mandate have demonstrated little interest in Shalit’s human rights. Organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), B’Tselem, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Gisha, and Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) did not conduct sustained campaigns on his behalf. Gilad Shalit was simply not a priority for these NGOs.


Israel's exile of prisoners to the Gaza Strip and abroad is a serious war crime, rights groups said Monday...In a joint statement Monday, prisoner rights group Addameer and legal rights organization Al-Haq highlighted that while the deal was cause for celebration for 1,028 families, aspects of the exchange were "fundamentally at odds with international law." Unlawful deportation or transfer breaches the Fourth Geneva Convention and "qualifies as one of the most serious war crimes," the groups said.

The protections of the Fourth Geneva Convention are inviolable, even if prisoners consent to exile and even though Hamas negotiated the deal, the statement said, pointing to the "stark asymmetry in power" between the Palestinian and Israeli parties.


1 comment:

NormanF said...

I remind you Shalit was kidnapped and held against his will. That's a crime not only in the Bible but in the laws of every civilized nations as old as recorded human history.

The terrorists were caught and convicted after due process for the gravest of crimes.

Its outrageous to maintain the two cases are comparable. But that's the kind of moral equivalence bilge we're used to hearing from the so-called human rights community these days.