The EU and UN are subsidising the Hamas penchant for kidnapping Israeli citizens.
The Palestinian government holds an abducted Israeli citizen, Gilad Shalit. The Israeli government holds Palestinian customs revenues. The Palestinian government has no intentions of releasing Shalit, kidnapped from inside sovereign Israel. But the Israeli government is apparently willing to release the withheld Palestinian revenues (“Cabinet weighs release of PA tax funds”, Jerusalem Post, June 24).
Hard to know if this shows abysmal incompetence, lack of strategic imagination or mere political callousness, but we are actually about to pay a ransom without recovering the kidnapped victim.
If Abu Mazen means business about a new partnership with Israel, Olmert should persuade him the only way the funds will be released is if Fatah rounds up and imprisons every single Hamas member and operative in the West Bank, with the assurance they will all be released unharmed and PA funds unfrozen once Gilad Shalit is delivered safely to Israel.
Otherwise we are financing the abduction of our own citizens. We’re paying not to get them back.
The fact that the EU and other world bodies are now pouring money into the PA government faction that abducted Shalit without making this aid conditional on his immediate release speaks volumes.
When all is said and done, the positions of the Israeli and EU governments don’t really seem to be all that far apart. Explain that to the Shalit family.