In today’s Yisrael Hayom, yet two more shining examples of how far removed from reality we are in dealing with the captivity of Gilad Shalit.
Reservists protest Shalit captivity conditions
Dozens of reserve soldiers on Monday blocked a junction in the Sde Boker area in the Negev in an attempt to prevent the passage of a bus carrying Palestinian security prisoners’ families, who were on their way to visit their relatives in prison, Israel Radio reported.
The reservists were protesting the fact that Palestinians are able to visit their relatives in Israeli jails, while Gilad Shalit continues to be held captive without anyone, including the Red Cross, having access to him.
According to Israeli media, protesters displayed signs stating, “Who is visiting Gilad?,” “No visitation for Gilad – no visitation for you,” and “Gilad wants to go home.”
Any guesses to whether or not the families arrived, albeit delayed, to visit, as has been the norm for the last 5 years. This has been an issue in the past, even briefly being brought to the Knesset floor by Danny Danon, but then receding back into the shadows of non-action.
PA paying convicted terrorists monthly salaries
The Palestinian Authority allocates a chunk of its budget to provide salaries to security prisoners held in Israeli jails, according to a senior government official in Jerusalem.
According to a report cited by the official, the salaries are allocated under the heading “public services,” and account for about 3.5 percent of the Palestinian Authority’s budget. Funding for the authority stems from two main sources – the U.S. government, and “donor countries.”
The salaries vary according to the length of a prisoner’s sentence. Prisoners jailed for up to three years earn a total of NIS 1,400 ($400) per month, while prisoners sentenced to more than 20 years behind bars earn NIS 10,000 ($2,800) to NIS 12,000 ($3,400). Prisoners’ spouses and children also receive regular financial aid from the authority, while prisoners holding Israeli identity cards receive monthly salaries plus additional stipends.
That the “Funding for the authority stems from two main sources – the U.S. government, and “donor countries.”, in actuality makes no significant difference, other than to perhaps elicit a chuckle about how witless these countries truly are. Israel also regularly transfers tax revenue to the PA, which is used in turn to meet it’s budget. Once the money enters the PA, even if not stolen, nevertheless, all control is lost, and it will be earmarked for whatever the holder wishes.
But there is one thing that is certain actually, and that is that one young man will continue to neither receive visitors, nor salary. G-d willing, he will be brought home, but the key to this situation never being repeated again, begins in the here and now. But is anybody interested?