NGO Monitor Demands Human Rights Groups End Their Silence on Gilad Schalit
Release Date: 18 January 2009
(Jerusalem) - Jerusalem based watchdog, NGO Monitor today called on all
human rights groups to demand the release of captive IDF soldier Gilad
Schalit and to press for International Red Cross access, in accordance with
international humanitarian law.
Schalit was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists from sovereign Israeli territory
in June 2006. He has since been denied even one visit by the International
Red Cross, a grave contravention of one of the foundations of international
Since the beginning of Israel's operation, over 35 NGOs have released over
200 statements on the situation in Gaza. Yet, not one has even demanded
humanitarian access for Gilad Schalit.
In stark contrast, human rights groups have repeatedly invoked international
humanitarian law to accuse and make demands of Israel. Amnesty
International has accused Israel of 'unlawful attacks', demands an arms
embargo and has in the past called for Israeli officials to be prosecuted
for 'war crimes'. Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of 'indiscriminate'
attacks which they claim are against the 'rules of law' while Oxfam says
Israeli leaders have committed 'massive and disproportionate violence...in
violation of international law'.
As international leaders attempt to broker a ceasefire between Israel and
Hamas, it is imperative that human rights groups take an impartial approach
to the conflict. They must begin by ending their shameful silence over the
ongoing abuse of Gilad Schalit's fundamental human rights.
NGO Monitor's Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg said, "Human rights
organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam
are jeopardizing their legitimacy by standing in silence while Gilad Schalit
continues to be denied basic human rights. They have continually used
international humanitarian law to denounce Israel, yet not one word has been
said by them about Gilad Schalit. Far from being impartial, NGOs are
displaying clear double standards."
NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and
debate on the political role of human rights organizations. For more
information, see our website at
For further information, comment or interviews contact Dan Kosky
+972 (0) 546-305-504
NGO Monitor - 1, Ben Maimon Blvd. - Jerusalem 92262 - Israel - T: