July 19. 2006
To the Urgent Actions Network
International Secretariat, LONDON
FAX +44 20-79561157
PLEASE HELP BRING THE TORTURE OF THE FAMILIES
OF ISRAELI CAPTIVES TO AN END.
As the stated purpose of your Network is to rapidly
produce an internationally coordinated mass protest, to save someone from torture, I appeal for your assistance in relieving
the intolerable suffering of the families of Israeli captives whose captors refuse to give any indication of their fate.
The impression that there is a direct
comparison between the captured Israeli soldiers and Palestinians in Israeli jails is fundamentally incorrect. The families
of Palestinian prisoners in Israel know where their loved ones are. They visit them and communicate by telephone.
By contrast, the Palestinians and
Hizbullah, in open defiance of the Geneva Conventions, deliberately keep the families of captives in a state of unbearable
anxiety by holding their captives incommunicado. What greater torture can one apply to any parent, than to capture a son,
hold him against his will and refuse to give even the slightest credible hint about whether or not he is still alive or his
physical condition or even whether he is being tortured..
May one hope that Amnesty International,
will demand that, at the very least, the kidnappers allow the captured soldiers to be visited by the Red Cross or other neutral
persons and to telephone to their parents in the presence of such neutral parties.
By the same token, your organization
would be performing a great humanitarian service in conformance with your stated objectives, if it took up the tragic story
of Israel’s missing in action soldiers. Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz
who have been missing for 22 years Ron Arad for 17 years and Guy Hever who went missing a few years after Arad.
AP and others have reported claims
over the years by Lebanese and Palestinian militias about the fate of the MIA’s. Arad was reportedly sold over the years
to different Lebanese factions including Hizbollah and moved back and forth between Lebanon and Iran..
In 1993, the late Yasser Arafat acknowledged
that he knew of Baumel’s fate by handing one half of his identity tag to the late Yitzchak Rabin, with a firm promise
that more information regarding the MIA's would be forthcoming. He reneged on the promise.
Amnesty International, with its high
ideals, cannot, in good faith, ignore this urgent need. With your International prestige and access to government officials
world-wide, no doubt you will be able to achieve results where others have failed so miserably.
I would appreciate an acknowledgement
by email or fax
Signed - M. Ostroff