Former prisoner of Zion against Palestinian visitation rights
Ida Nudel, former prisoner of Zion, Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, petition High Court of Justice to order Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter to withhold Hamas, Hizbullah prisoners' visitation rights until sign of life of captive IDF soldiers given
Former prisoner of Zion, Ida Nudel filed a petition to the High Court of Justice demanding it order Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter to withhold visitation rights of Hamas and Hizbullah prisoners in Israel.
The petition argued that the prisoners should not be allowed visitation as long as the Red Cross was prevented from seeing kidnapped IDF soldiers Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
"I filed the petition as someone who was once a prisoner for the State of Israel and as a responsible Israeli citizen, who feels responsible for what is going on in the country and for the people as a whole," Nudel told Ynet.
Nudel said that Israel should receive equal treatment to all other countries, and should demand this equality from the UN and international community.
"Every prisoner, no matter what he did, has rights, and our soldiers have these rights as well; and if we accept that we are not receiving that – then the rest of the world will too," she said.
In her petition, Nudel argued that "Israel's policy of allowing visitation to terrorists arrested by Israel is severely damaging efforts to release the kidnapped IDF soldiers.
"Since his kidnapping, Hamas has refused to allow soldier Gilad Shalit's family to make contact with him, while Hizbullah has also refused to give any sign of life of the two soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, since they fell captive in July 2006."
Nudel, who spent eight years in a Siberian prison, argued that Hizbullah is neither willing to transfer letters, pictures, or videotapes of the kidnapped soldiers to their families, nor give any information on the soldiers' physical conditions.
"This is unprecedented cruelty and cynicism, the captors are acting against the relevant rules of international law," Nudel said.
'It's time Olmert learn mercy to terrorists is big mistake'The Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center organization joined Nudel's petition, and the organization's chairwoman attorney Nitzana Darshan Leitner said, "It's completely immoral for the Israeli government to allow family and Red Cross visitation to imprisoned terrorists, when Shalit hasn't seen his family since he fell captive and Goldwasser and Regev are being held without anyone knowing if they are alive or not.
"For over a year, Muslim terror organizations have been using cruel psychological warfare against the State of Israel and its citizens by refusing to provide any information whatsoever on the kidnapped soldiers and without allowing their families to contact them.
"Israel's humanitarian policy of allowing visits, does not impress the terrorists, but is taken as a sign of weakness. Israel must immediately apply the principle of reciprocity, according to which all Hamas and Hizbullah prisoners are withheld visitation from their families or the Red Cross until information on the missing soldiers is given.
"The time has come for Olmert's government to learn that demonstrating mercy to the cruel is always a big mistake when it comes to terror organizations."