"We also have some humanitarian demands of our own," says MK Rabbi Yitzchak Levy, "namely, freedom for our captive soldier Gilad Shalit."
MK Levy, of the National Union party, does not rule out a priori humanitarian aide to Hamas-ruled Gaza, but says it must be made contingent upon the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Monday will mark exactly one year since eight Hamas terrorists crawled through an underground tunnel from Gaza into Israel, killed two IDF soldiers and abducted Shalit from his tank. The enemy force entered Israel through a deep tunnel dug especially for the attack, and Shalit has not been heard from since.
"I assume the government will reach some kind of decision in the coming days regarding the opening of the crossings into Gaza," MK Levy told Arutz-7's Hebrew newsmagazine on Sunday morning. "This, in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis in Gaza where people die of disease and hunger."
"But we have some humanitarian demands of our own," Levy said. "I propose that the Government of Israel make its continued humanitarian aid contingent upon the release of Gilad Shalit. We must say: If you ignore the humanitarian need of his family, and of all Israel, and keep him with you, then we too will keep our aid from reaching Gaza."
Over the weekend, a bicycling event was held to remember Israel's three most recent captives - Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, the latter two of whom were kidnapped nearly a year ago into Lebanon by Hizbullah terrorists. In addition, some 500 people are taking part Sunday morning in a one-year anniversary rally for Shalit near the Knesset in Jerusalem.
One of the first victims of the Olso War was Rabbi Levy's 28-year-old daughter Ayelet HaShachar, a mother of a three-year old girl, who was killed in a car-bomb attack near the Machaneh Yehuda market in Jerusalem in November 2000.
Asked about the claim that the kidnappers are not controlled by the Hamas government, Rabbi Levy said, "To say that they're just a bunch of wild guys who don't listen to orders - I don't accept that. The whole Hamas regime is the same way... The world understands this, and will therefore accept our demand. This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the terrorists' plight. There's no reason for us to be so good-hearted. If they don't want to run out of flour in a week or two, then let them give us back Gilad."