Posted by: Lister | June 18, 2007

Muamar and Shalit

You are more likely to recognize the name Shalit. Especially in full: Corporal Gilad Shalit. Osama and Mustafa Muamar are the two Palestinians captured in Gaza on June 24th 2006. It’s not clear if they were members of Hamas but their father, who was beaten by the IDF but not captured, was.

Wiki says that Mustafa Muamar was tried and found guilty.

Corporal Gilad Shalit was captured on 25th June 2006, the day after the attack on the Muamar family.

The two incidents recieved very different attention from the media. Here’s Chomsky:

The latest phase began on June 24, when the Israeli army kidnapped two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from their home in Gaza. They were “detained” according to brief notes in the British press. The U.S. media mostly preferred silence. They will presumably join the 9,000 other Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, 1,000 reportedly in prison without charges, hence kidnapped — as were many of the rest, in that they were sentenced by Israeli courts, which are a disgrace, harshly condemned by legal commentators in Israel. Among them are hundreds of women and children, their numbers and fate of little interest. Also of little interest are Israel’s secret prisons. The Israeli press reported that these have been “the entry gate to Israel for Lebanese, especially those who were suspected of membership in Hezbollah, who were transferred to the southern side of the border,” some captured in battle in Lebanon, others “abducted at Israel’s initiative” and sometimes held as hostages, with torture under interrogation. The secret Camp 1391, possibly one of several, was discovered accidentally in 2003, since forgotten.

The next day, June 25, Palestinians kidnapped an Israeli soldier just across the border from Gaza. That did happen, very definitely. Every literate reader also knows the name of corporal Gilad Shalit, and wants him released. The nameless kidnapped Gaza civilians are ignored; international law, while rightly insisting that captured soldiers be treated humanely, absolutely prohibits the extrajudicial seizure of civilians. Israel responded by “bombing and shelling, darkening and destroying, imposing a siege and kidnapping like the worst of terrorists and nobody breaks the silence to ask, what the hell for, and according to what right?” as the fine Israeli journalist Gideon Levy wrote, adding that “[a] state that takes such steps is no longer distinguishable from a terror organization.” Israel also kidnapped a large part of the Palestinian government, destroyed most of the Gaza electrical and water systems, and committed numerous other crimes. These acts of collective punishment, condemned by Amnesty International as “war crimes,” compounded the punishment of Palestinians for having voted the wrong way.

That last line is Chomsky’s main topic in that article. Worth reading in full.



  1. A year after his capture, Hamas releases an audio tape of Gilad Shalit calling for the Israeli government to do more to free him.

    “I have spent a full year in prison, and my health is still deteriorating, and I need a prolonged hospitalization. I regret the lack of interest on the part of the Israeli government and the Israel Defense Forces in my case and their refusal to meet the demands of the al-Qassam brigades,” he said, speaking in Hebrew.

    […]”Just as I have parents, a mother and father, the thousands of Palestinian prisoners have mothers and fathers to whom their sons must be returned,” he said. “I have a great hope from my government that it show more interest in me and meet the demands of the mujahideen (captors).”

    […] The Israeli human rights group B’tselem accused the captors of war crimes, noting their refusal to allow Red Cross workers to visit Shalit.

    […] The militants called for Shalit’s family pressure the Israeli government to release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for freeing Shalit. Shalit’s father, Noam, said Sunday at a rally calling for his release that the government was not doing enough to bring him home.

    Israel has agreed to a prisoner swap in principle, but balked at some of the Palestinian demands for the number and type of prisoners to be freed.

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