Commentary Magazine


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The Red Cross, Hamas, and Gilad Shalit

CBN News is reporting that the Red Cross is continuing to shelter three Hamas officials suspected in the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit five years ago. It sounds like the terrorists have it pretty good. In addition to receiving visits from foreign dignitaries, Jimmy Carter has dropped by, and the Hamas members have been free to hold press conferences from their safe-house at the Red Cross’s East Jerusalem office. Legions of Hamas supporters reportedly congregate outside the office on Fridays to hold candlelight vigils, as well.

“Under international humanitarian law, East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory,” Red Cross spokesperson Cecilia Goin explained to CBN News. “So the Palestinians living in East Jerusalem are considered protected people.”

While the Red Cross has welcomed the Hamas officials with open arms (the three of them have reportedly set up a tent at the office), Red Cross medical personnel continue to be denied access to tend to Shalit while he’s in captivity, in violation of international law.

The Red Cross’s cushy treatment of these Hamas officials is bad enough on its own. But it also highlights the fact that the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations haven’t been nearly as forceful as they should be in demanding the release of Shalit. Nearly five years after his capture, it’s a travesty that he hasn’t even been able to receive medical attention, while three of his suspected kidnappers receive visits from former U.S. presidents and diplomats.


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