EU to Hamas: Release Shalit Immediately


gilad-shalit-smallThe European Parliament today passed a resolution calling on Hamas to release Gilad Shalit immediately, allow Red Cross representatives to visit the kidnapped Israeli soldier and “enable him to contact his family.”

The resolution, which mentions Shalit’s dual French-Israeli citizenship, stated that “he is being kept in Gaza where he does not enjoy basic rights according to 3rd article to the Geneva convention and to the 3rd Geneva convention; his contact with the outside world is reported to be limited and (he) has had no reported contact with the Red Cross.”

The resolution called for the “immediate resolution of the case, which leads to the immediate release of Gilad Shalit.”

 The European Parliament said it “deplores the continued disregard for Gilad Shalit’s basic human rights and the prevention of information regarding his wellbeing (from) his family and the Israeli and French authorities.

 However, the Parliament also reiterated its call for the “substantial release of Palestinian prisoners” by Israel, and calls upon the Jewish state to “lift restrictions on family visits and to guarantee that detention conditions of all Palestinian prisoners are in accordance with international conventions, including the Geneva Conventions.”

 According to the resolution, “Trust-building between Israelis and Palestinians is an essential part of a peace process leading to two states living side by side in peace and security.”

 The resolution was passed a day after Gilad Shalit’s father, Noam Shalit, met with the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, and Catherine Ashton, the Euroepan Union’s foreign affairs chief.

 “The European Union gives a lot of money to the Palestinians, and I hope the Palestinians, and especially Hamas, won’t be able to ignore” the vote of this resolution, Noam Shalit said after the meetings.

 Europe “should say clear and loud that it is not acceptable that Hamas is keeping anyone, and especially a European citizen, in captivity for four years, in complete isolation, without any contact with the outside world,” he added.

 “I hope that Catherine Ashton will call for Hamas to conclude this issue and release my son Gilad.”

 Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists on June 25, 2006 during a cross-border raid on an IDF base near Gaza.

{Israel Insider/Yair Israel}