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Gilad Shalit's Kidnapping

Gilad Shalit is an Israeli soldier who was captured on 25 June 2006 by Hamas in a cross-border raid. He was captured near the Kerem Shalom crossing (in Israel), and has been held as a hostag at an unknown location in the Gaza Strip by Hamas since then. Shalit, holding a rank of corporal in the IDF's Armor Corps at the time of his abduction, has since been promoted to staff sergeant. He was the first Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants since Nachshon Wachsman in 1994. Shalit holds dual French and Israeli citizenship, a fact that encouraged France and the European Union to be involved in efforts to release him.[citation needed] Hamas has refused requests from the International Committee of the Red Cross to allow the ICRC to visit Shalit on the grounds that any such visit could betray the location where Shalit is being held. Several human rights organizations have stated that the terms and conditions of Shalit's detention are contrary to international humanitarian law. To date, the only contact between Shalit and the outside world since his abduction has been three letters, an audio tape, and a DVD that Israel received in return for releasing 20 female Palestinian prisoners. In exchange for his release, Hamas is demanding the release of all female and underage Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, as well as a further 1,000 prisoners. The main sticking point in negotiations between the sides for the release of Shalit is Hamas' insistence of the release of Marwan Bargouti, currently serving five life sentences in Israel for murder. The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which released a report in September 2009, has also called for Shalit to be released.

Posted by Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson on April 12, 2011 at 12:20 AM 4094 Views

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