The family of captive soldier Gilad Shalit sent a letter Monday to the United States Congress demanding it stops the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas until their son is released.
In the letter the Shalit family congratulated the recent public demand made by the US President Barack Obama to release Gilad Shalit immediately, but requested US senators urge him "to stop all aid to the Palestinian Authority until Gilad Shalit is released."
The Shalit family letter was sent ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before the US Congress Tuesday, via attorney Gilad Sher to the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and to Congressman John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Shalit family mentioned their request is based on official decisions previously made in Washington. "This is in line with resolutions passed unanimously in both the House of Representatives on the 13th of May 2010 and in the Senate on the 28th June 2010 which called for the immediate and unconditional release of Gilad Shalit.
"Furthermore, 29 Democratic Senators recently wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to stop financial aid to the Palestinian Authority due to Hamas being invited to join the Palestinian Authority's Government," they wrote.
US Congress. Netanyahu is set to speak there Tuesday (Photo: AFP)
The letter also mentions the Oslo Accords signed and the Israeli–Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in which "the Palestinian Authority agreed 'that they exercise their powers and responsibilities pursuant to this Agreement with due regard to internationally-accepted norms and the principles of human rights and the rule of law.'"
The Shalit family clearly stated that the PA "is now directly responsible for Gilad Shalit’s well-being and has to abide by all its international commitments and accepted norms of international behavior."
According to them, the PA "has a clear duty, to do everything they can to locate Gilad, and they have a responsibility to stop this war crime from being perpetuated by ensuring that he is released immediately."
'Abbas called for his release'
The letter also mentioned President Mahmoud Abbas has "on several occasions called for the release of Gilad Shalit."
"As head of the Palestinian Authority, it is time that he delivers. Pressure coming from the United States may strengthen his (Abbas) resolve to work towards that end."
The family of missing Israeli Druze soldier Majdi Halabi who disappeared on May 24 nearly six years ago visited the Gilad Shalit protest tent in Jerusalem on Monday. They arrived with a delegation of 60 Druze members.
The delegation said the State of Israel has not been doing enough to find and free captive soldier Shalit. "The security arms have long arms, and they can use them," they claimed.
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