Source: In the News UK, 6-25-09
Thursday marks three years since kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on border of Gaza Strip
Today marks three years since the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on the border of the Gaza Strip.
The 22-year-old was captured by Palestinian gunmen during an attack on an Israeli army base in 2006 and he is believed to have been held in the Gaza Strip by the militant group Hamas ever since. Earlier this week hundreds of Israelis temporarily blocked aid from reaching the region demanding his release. Israel has increasingly tightened the blockade on the Gaza Strip ever since militants tunneled over the border and captured Sgt Shalit in a deadly raid which left four people dead.
During the three years of his capture no aid group has been allowed access to the 22-year-old, with the International Red Cross even refused permission to provide him with correspondence from his family. Hamas has continually called for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the Israeli solider.
On Tuesday, Israel released Hamas parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik, who was held for almost three years, apparently in retaliation to the capture of Sgt Shalit.