Protect Human Rights of Israeli Captive

[Berntsen National Security Review] Gary Berntsen - We are all mindful that Palestinians in Gaza are in need of humanitarian assistance. Unfortunately, they are led by the killers of Hamas and this group must not be rewarded in any way until it abides by a minimum level of civilized behavior. As a start, that behavior should include providing Red Cross access to [kidnapped Israeli soldier] Gilad Shalit. Where are the international voices calling for the protection of his human rights and his protection from torture and abuse? There have been reports that Gilad Shalit has been restrained with explosives tied to his body as a means of ensuring that no Israeli rescue is attempted. Yet no universal condemnation has resulted from these horrid reports. Inexplicably, only the side in the fight not recognized by the UN - terrorist groups Hamas and Hizbullah - has received protection under the Geneva Convention. Resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an admirable stated goal of the Obama administration. An important first step toward that end will be Hamas' adherence to basic international norms relative to human rights. A second step will be to abrogate the horrible double standard that has long defined the plight of Israeli combatants that fall into the hands of their enemies. The writer is a 23-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Operations.

2009-04-10 06:00:00

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