On 25 June 2006, then-Corporal Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists from within Israeli territory and taken to the Gaza Strip. The kidnapping was part of an unprovoked attack which involved seven armed terrorists using a tunnel dug under the Israel-Gaza border. Gilad was 19 at the time of his abduction.
During the course of the attack, an IDF soldier, Staff Sergeant Pavel Slutzker, and an officer, Lieutenant Hanan Barak, were killed, while five others were wounded.
25 June 2011 marks 5 years of Staff Sergeant Shalit’s captivity. For 5 years, Hamas has continued to deny Gilad his most basic humanitarian rights, including Red Cross access. For 5 years, his family has suffered greatly, waiting for his return.
The international community should act to end this intolerable situation. As Prime Minister Netanyahu stated (23 May 2011): “I think that the entire civilized community should join Israel and the United States and all of us in a simple demand from Hamas: Release Gilad Shalit.”