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Friday, June 24, 2011

Gazans attack Red Cross office for supporting Shalit (updated x2)

From Ma'an:
Palestinians threw eggs at the international Red Cross office in Gaza on Thursday to protest against a call for Hamas to show signs a captured Israeli soldier was still alive.

Dozens of angry protesters also chanted slogans against the International Committee of the Red Cross and ripped down and destroyed the Red Cross sign over the office.

They were protesting over a call earlier on Thursday by the ICRC, demanding that Gaza rulers show proof that Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured five years ago, is still alive.
How dare the Red Cross ask Hamas to do anything?

Meanwhile:
Israeli, Palestinian and international human rights groups issued a joint statement on Friday demanding that Gaza militants end "inhumane" treatment of an Israeli soldier they hold captive.

The declaration, signed by Israeli group B'Tselem, the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and eight others, comes as Israel marks the fifth anniversary of the capture of Gilad Shalit by three groups, including the current ruling party in Gaza, Hamas.

"Those holding him have refused to allow him to communicate with his family, nor have they provided information on his well-being and the conditions in which he is being held," the statement said in English, Arabic and Hebrew. "This conduct is inhumane and a violation of international humanitarian law."
So far I have been unable to find this declaration.

The B'Tselem site has a separate article calling for Shalit's release.

The Amnesty site likewise has an article demanding his release, but it felt necessary to refer to Israeli "human rights violations carried out on a daily basis against Palestinian men, women and children."

HRW does not yet have any press release about Shalit, although they have issued them every year on the anniversary of his abduction. In last year's they also felt it necessary to refer to Israeli restrictions on family visits to prisoners.

PCHR has nothing on its website about calling for Shalit to be released. Since their participation in this joint declaration is what is making headlines, it will be interesting to see when or if PCHR actually calls for Shalit's release on its own site or if this is another case of Palestinian Arabs saying one thing for Western consumption and another internally.

UPDATE: The letter is here. The only PalArab organization on the letter is PCHR. PCHR still does not have it on their website. (Which makes the fact that the letter was also written in Arabic sort of moot.) (h/t T34)

UPDATE 2: Challah Hu Akbar points out that this letter does not call for Shalit's release, only for him to be treated "humanely." Which means that PCHR is probably the only listed "human rights" organization that supports his being kept captive.