By Maayana Miskin, www.IsraelNationalNews.com
United States Congresswoman Shelley Berkley of Nevada has drafted a petition that would tie America’s aid to Gaza to the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The petition will be sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The petition also calls to suspend the aid payments until Hamas-run Gaza stops targeting Israeli civilians with frequent rocket attacks.
Clinton pledged $900 million in U.S. aid at a donors’ conference in Egypt earlier this month. One-third of the money, $300 million, will go to Gaza, while the remaining $600 million is intended for the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria.
Clinton assured Israel that the money sent to Gaza would not fall into Hamas’s hands, and would be used for “urgent” humanitarian needs.
The donors’ conference raised a total of $4.48 billion, and several Arab and Muslim countries recommitted to previous promises of aid that had not been fulfilled, pushing the total money raised to well over $5 billion.
Donor nations have not yet decided how to give the money to Gaza civilians without funding Hamas. The PA has asked that it be trusted to allocate the funding.
Shalit Family in Last-Minute Campaign
While American representatives pushed for Shalit’s release in Congress, the Shalit family began a new campaign in Israel, releasing a video calling for Gilad’s release complete with the words “save me” in his handwriting.
The video will be broadcast on television, and will be sent to the public via email and SMS.
Gilad’s father, Noam, said his family also plans to begin a protest vigil outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem.