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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

International relief agencies and Israeli prisoners of war; Red Cross suspends operations in Gaza

YID with LID points to a piece on YNet last night that talked about UN 'Human Rights' Commissioner Louise Arbour's refusal to meet with the families of kidnapped soldiers Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit. The families of the soldiers asked for a meeting with her two weeks ago, but after several 'evasive answers' they got a final "no" last night.
"The decision of the Commissioner Arbour not to meet with the families of the kidnapped soldiers during her visit to Israel should set off red lights in Israel and the other 15 countries that are signed on UN Resolution 1701. The UN is not interested in the fate of the soldiers, and maybe it doesn't even stand behind the resolution," said Benny Regev, brother of kidnapped soldier Eldad Regev.

Regev told Ynet that the commissioner should meet with the families mainly because the way the soldiers are treated by Hamas and Hizbullah is a violation of human rights. "There is no way of knowing what their situation is and if their basic right to live has been kept. Nobody is updating us on their status, and this is one of the basic demands of the UN when talking about prisoners of war," he said

Regev added that "the evasion of Arbour is childish. We wished to take only a few minutes of her time, and the fact we have been chasing after her for more than two weeks indicates that the consideration was not a reasonable one."

Regev added that he hopes Arbour will reconsider and meet with the families in order to examine the ways the UN can assist in the return of the three kidnapped soldiers. Regev also said that the families have no new details on their condition or information regarding the negotiations on their release.
Of course, Regev is correct. But should anyone really be surprised at this behavior? Two days ago I reported that UNRWA, another UN agency, is providing housing for terrorists whose homes ammunition dumps in the Gaza Strip were destroyed by the IDF.

I have no faith in the UN 'Human Rights' Commission/Council, because we all know that the UN is an anti-Israel organization. What's worse is that the Red Cross - of which Israel is now a member - has not even visited any of the Israeli prisoners, even though they were allowed to visit all of the Hezbullah prisoners from this past summer's war, and take letters to their families. And the Red Cross has admitted helping Hezbullah during the war.

This all should surprise nobody. Does anyone outside of Israel even remember Zecharia Baumel, who turned 46 on Friday, and who has - assuming he's been alive - now been in captivity more than half his life? Does anyone even remember his fellow tankmen, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz, who have also been missing since 1982? (I'm not mentioning Ron Arad because more people seem to have at least heard of him).

What we need to do is to keep our POW's/MIA's on the world agenda, and that means asking friendly people who are in a position to do so to keep the cause on the front burner. People like John Bolton.... Other than that, all one can do is to pray and to sympathize with the families.

Postscript - The Red Cross has suspended all operations in Gaza due to the kidnapping of two of its workers there. The two workers - Italians - were returned this morning.
Iyad Nasr, a spokesman for the Red Cross's Gaza office, said the organization had ceased all field operations and would intervene only "in matters of life and death." Workers have been ordered to stay in their offices because of fears for their safety, he said.


The Red Cross said Claudio Moroni, 36, and Gianmarco Onorato, 63, were abducted in Deir el-Balah in central Gaza after their car was stopped by gunmen. Palestinian security officials said one of the Red Cross workers was traveling on a Canadian passport. It was not known which one.


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