Monday, October 17, 2011

Release of Gilad Shalit

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said that “a brief window of opportunity has been opened that would possibly lead to Gilad Shalit’s homecoming.” In his speech, Netanyahu said that he is thankful he can take part in the mitzvah of “pidyom shvuyim,” freeing the captive, as Shalit should be on his way home “in the next few days.” He emphasized that he instructed the team to sign the deal which was crafted keeping in mind the obligation to Gilad’s family as well as Israel’s security.

Gilad Shalit (born August, 28 1986) was kidnapped from his post on June 25, 2006, by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom crossing in Israel, and has been held as a hostage at an unknown location in the Gaza Strip by Hamas since then.

For more than five years, Hamas has refused requests from the International Committee of the Red Cross to allow visits to Shalit. Multiple human rights organizations have stated that the terms and conditions of Shalit’s confinement are contrary to international humanitarian law. To date, the only contact between Shalit and the outside world since his capture has been three letters, an audio tape, and a DVD that Israel received in return for releasing 20 female Palestinian prisoners. The current deal consists of the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners serving various terms in Israel.

Listen to a song called “erev chag”, holiday eve, dedicated to Gilad, and our awaiting for his return:

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