Red Cross slammed for calling on Hamas to let Shalit be in touch with his family
|Sunday, June 21,2009 06:47|
The ministry of prisoners’ affairs in Gaza expressed its dismay on Friday at the Red Cross for appealing to the Hamas Movement to allow Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to write to and receive letters from his family regularly while there are hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who are deprived of their rights.
In a statement received by the PIC, the ministry underlined that the Red Cross was powerless to pressure Israel to lift its ban which has deprived many prisoners of seeing their families or writing and receiving letters from them for more than two years, and claimed more than once that it was unable to pressure Israel in this regard.
“Did the Red Cross condemn the Israeli occupation for its daily violations of the international law against the (Palestinian) prisoners and for depriving them of all their human rights provided for by the least fair international treaties?" the ministry rhetorically questioned.
“Where was the Red Cross, which sheds tears for Shalit and his rights, when the (Israeli) prisons authority refused to allow Gaza prisoners to contact their families during the war and following the massacres perpetrated by the occupation against the Gaza Strip population?” it added.
It explained, “They (the prisoners) lived in anxiety and fear for their families after they received news about the large number of martyrs and the size of destruction inflicted on the Strip.”
The ministry also noted that despite the policy of medical neglect practiced by Israel against Palestinian prisoners in its jails, the Red Cross had expressed blatantly its satisfaction at the medical services provided by the Israeli prisons authority and ignored that there are still more than 1,600 patients in Israeli jails who do not have access to appropriate medical treatment.
The ministry asked the world community and its legal institutions to stop the policy of double standards, and urged Hamas not to respond to any demands regarding Shalit before the incarceration conditions of Palestinian prisoners are improved and their rights are fulfilled.
In another related context, Ual Shalit, the eldest brother of the captive Israeli soldier, appealed in an interview conducted by Maariv newspaper on Thursday to the Israeli premier and the Knesset to get his brother released.
Shalit expressed fears that the issue of his brother could become similar to the issue of Ron Arad, the pilot who went missing in Lebanon more than 20 years ago.
Israeli sources reported that Israeli war minister Ehud Barak would visit Cairo Sunday to discuss with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak the issue of prisoner Shalit.