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PAM ! Pam-para,pam-pam ! PAM ! PAM !

Sep 25, 2010

Put this in the Qoraan first !....



1336. The Mission notes the continued detention of Gilad Shalit, a member of the Israeli armed forces, captured in 2006 by Palestinian armed groups during a cross-border operation. In reaction to the capture, the Israeli Government ordered a number of incursions to attack important infrastructure in the Gaza Strip as well as Palestinian Authority offices. This was followed by the arrest of eight Palestinian Government ministers and 26 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council by the Israeli security forces (see chap. II).

1337. Israeli Government officials have repeatedly stated that the easing of the blockade on the Gaza Strip (see chaps. V and XVII) is linked to the release of Gilad Shalit. In February 2009, it appeared that the Israeli Government had dropped its demand for Palestinian militants to release Gilad Shalit before it would end the blockade.However, the then Deputy Prime Minister stated shortly after that "Israel is facing a serious humanitarian crisis, and it is called Gilad Shalit, and... until he is returned home, not only will we not allow more cargo to reach the residents of Gaza, we will even diminish it." Israel’s then Prime Minister also stated that "we will not reopen the border crossings [into Gaza] and assist Hamas so long as Gilad Shalit is in their brutal prison."

1338. In October 2008, a Hamas spokesman stated that “the Shalit case is dependent on prisoners swap... He will never be released if the Israeli occupation does not release Palestinian prisoners whom Hamas wants free….”

1339. The Mission is aware that negotiations, through intermediaries, continue with regard to the exchange of prisoners between the Israeli Government and Hamas representatives.

1340. The Mission asked the Gaza authorities to confirm the status of Gilad Shalit. In their reply, which the Mission considered to be unsatisfactory, the Gaza authorities denied being involved in any way with the capture and detention of Gilad Shalit and stated that they are not in possession of any information regarding his current status.

1341. During its investigations in the Gaza Strip, the Mission heard testimonies indicating that during the military operations of December 2008 – January 2009, Israeli soldiers questioned captured Palestinians about the whereabouts of Gilad Shalit (see chap. XV).

1342. Gilad Shalit’s father, Noam Shalit, appeared before the Mission at the public hearing held in Geneva on 6 July 2009.He informed the Mission of his extreme concern about the condition of his son, who has not been able to communicate with his family and has not been allowed to receive ICRC visits. Mr. Shalit expressed concern about the health and psychological status of his son after more than three years of captivity and appealed for his release.

Legal findings and conclusions

1343. The Mission is of the opinion that, as a soldier who belongs to the Israeli armed forces and who was captured during an enemy incursion into Israel, Gilad Shalit meets the requirements for prisoner-of-war status under the Third Geneva Convention. As such, he should be protected, treated humanely and be allowed external communication as appropriate according to that Convention. ICRC should be allowed to visit him without delay. Information about his condition should also be provided promptly to his family.

1344. The Mission is concerned by the declarations referred to above, made by various Israeli officials, who have indicated the intention of maintaining the blockade of the Gaza Strip until the release of Gilad Shalit. The Mission is of the opinion that this would constitute collective punishment of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

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