Friday, June 24, 2011
Five Years in Captivity for Gilad Shalit
This Saturday, June 25th, marks the five year anniversary of the kidnapping of one of Israel’s sons, Gilad Shalit. Gilad’s abduction was a part of a cross-border attack by Hamas, who used tunnels to launch an attack against Israeli soldiers, killing Staff Sergeant Pavel Slutzker and an officer, Lieutenant Hanan Barak, before taking young Gilad Shalit hostage. The slender Israeli boy was only 19 years old at the time of his abduction. The terrorist group Hamas which has kept Gilad hostage for five years does not provide him with even an ounce of humanitarian aid, and his continued imprisonment is a violation of every law of nations, and humanity. He has never been allowed access to medial treatment by the Red Cross, or even visits mandated by international law. As The New York Times reported today, the International Committee of the Red Cross publicly demanded that Hamas provide proof that Gilad is still alive. Hamas has refused. Not only do we not know how Gilad is doing, but since October of 2009, there’s been no proof that he is still alive.
Despite all of this, we continue to be hopeful that he will one day be released. Five years is a long time – and a very special campaign called “What Gilad Missed” by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs sums it all up. Besides missing everything from the rise of Barack Obama to Bret Favre retiring multiple times, Gilad has tragically missed 1,825 sunrises.
Watch the video below, and share Gilad’s story with your friends and loved ones. On June 25th, we are all Israelis.
Click To View Video
UN chief renews calls for release of Israeli soldier abducted five years ago
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called once again for the immediate release of Israeli Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit, who has been held captive by Palestinian militants for the past five years, and pledged the continued support of the United Nations for efforts towards this goal.
"The Secretary-General is convinced that this issue must now be resolved," his spokesperson said in a statement issued ahead of the fifth anniversary of Mr. Shalit's capture on 25 June 2006.
Mr. Ban also joined the Director-General of the International Red Cross in calling on Hamas to protect the soldier's life, treat him humanely, prove that he is alive and allow the Shalit family to have contact with their son.
The Secretary-General called on Hamas to comply with international humanitarian law, and commended the recent call from a coalition of Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for the humane treatment of Mr. Shalit.
"The United Nations on the ground will continue to support the conclusion of negotiation efforts to secure his release, which would also entail the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners," the statement added.