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Arbour in Sderot Photo: Reuters
Arbour in Sderot Photo: Reuters

UN commissioner refuses to meet captives' families

UN high commissioner on human rights announces she will not meet with families of three kidnapped soldiers during Israel visit. Eldad Regev's brother: 'Decision not to meet families should set off red lights of UN stance behind resolution'

Ahiya Raved
Published: 11.21.06, 23:22 / Israel News

UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Louise Arbour has decided not to meet with the families of the kidnapped soldiers during her visit to Israel. The families of Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev and Gilad Shalit have approached the commissioner two weeks ago already, but after a series of evasive answers, the negative and final answer came Tuesday.

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"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.


During her visit, Arbour will meet Foreign Minister Tzipi Livny and discuss the issue of the kidnapped soldiers.


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