Maloney Calls for Release of Gilad Shalit at AAJLJ Rally

Dec 10, 2010
Press Release
New York, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) today joined the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists at a rally in front of the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross to insist that the Red Cross intensify its efforts to free Gilad Shalit.  Maloney made the following statement at the rally:

“We are here to express our outrage at Gilad Shalit’s continued captivity.  Gilad Shalit has spent more than four years in captivity.  Kidnapped on June 25, 2006 as a 19 year old, he has been held ever since by Hamas in complete isolation.

“This summer – yet again -- Hamas denied the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) request to visit Shalit.  The ICRC says that it has visited nearly everyone detained in connection to this conflict, with the exception of Gilad Shalit.

“He has not been allowed to speak to family members. He has not been allowed to meet with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross.  He has not been allowed to receive packages from his family. We do not know whether he is alive or dead.  We do not know whether he is healthy or sick.  We know virtually nothing about where he is, how he is, what he is doing, what he needs.  These conditions clearly violate the terms of the Third Geneva Convention and violate every precept of human rights.

“The Third Geneva Convention makes clear that prisoners of war, like Shalit, have the right to humane treatment, the right to send and receive letters and cards on a monthly basis, the right to receive care packages, the right to medical care and the right to unfettered access to the International Committee of the Red Cross, among other things.  Furthermore, the Geneva Convention gives Israel the right to know where Shalit is.

“Although Hamas does not comply with the most basic notions of how a prisoner should be kept, there is no outrage.  The world has been largely silent.

“Shalit is kept in inhuman conditions – and the world says nothing.  There are no UN resolutions demanding his release.  There are no efforts to hold Hamas officials guilty of war crimes -because of their treatment of Shalit- when they visit foreign countries.

“So – we are here to express our outrage – to demand Shalit’s immediate release.  Four years is too long – free Shalit.  I congratulate Marc Landis, the members of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists and the supporters of this event for helping to break the silence – to demand Shalit’s release and to demand that Hamas be held to standards of basic decent behavior.”