Marking the 5th anniversary of Gilad Shalit’s capture by Hamas, the International Red Cross (ICRC) has now, for the first time, called on Hamas to prove that he is still alive.
Shalit was 19 when he was captured on June 25, 2006 by Hamas terrorists, only a few months after he began his three-year compulsory IDF service. He was serving at the time on Israel’s border with Gaza, when several terrorists tunneled under the border, killed two soldiers, and abducted Shalit into Gaza. His whereabouts have been unknown ever since.
“Because no sign of life has been had from Shalit for nearly two years,” the Red Cross announced today, “we demand that Hamas provide proof that he is still alive.”
Hamas has already rejected the call, saying that the Red Cross should not intervene in Israel's "security games."
Activists for Shalit protested outside ICRC offices in Tel Aviv several days ago, demanding that the organization take action in response to not being allowed to visit Shalit. Last year, the Red Cross actually provided Hamas members with asylum in its own offices.
Hamas has demanded the release of 1,000 convicted terrorists, including murderers, in exchange for Shalit. The Netanyahu government, like the Olmert government before it, refuses to cave in to these demands, choosing to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks that are likely to be carried out tomorrow by murderers released today. This position is not absolute, however; the government has hinted that it would consider paying a somewhat lower price - in terms of numbers of released terrorists - in exchange for Shalit.
Yoel Shalit, Gilad’s brother, is to graduate this evening from the Technion University. He will receive his B.A. in Computer Science.