Gilad Shalit Timeline: 1,934 Days in Hamas Captivity

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

 

Gilad Shalit timeline: 1,934 days in Hamas captivity

Source: YNet News, 10-11-11

IDF soldier was captured on June 25, 2006 by Gaza terrorists who raided his tank Israel News

Israel and Hamas have agreed on a deal to swap IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive for five years, for the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

 

 

 
Here is a timeline of events since Shalit was captured:

 

June 25, 2006 – Hamas operatives launch raid into Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing two soldiers and capturing Shalit.

 

June 28 – Israeli troops invade the Gaza Strip.

 

Sept 15 – Letter from Shalit reaches his family via Egyptian mediators brokering a prisoner swap deal.

 

Oct 1 – Worst internal Palestinian fighting in a decade raises fears of a civil war in Gaza.

 

Nov 26 – Ceasefire in Gaza announced, ends five months of Israeli air strikes and incursions that fail to free Shalit.

 

June 14, 2007 – Hamas takes over Gaza from Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. At least 100 die in fighting.

 

June 25 – Israeli TV airs audio tape from Shalit’s captors asking for medical treatment and release of Palestinians.

 

Sept 8 – Israeli special forces disguised as Hamas gunmen abduct Hamas commander to be used as “bargaining chip.”

 

Dec 26 – Hamas says Shalit won’t be freed unless Israel frees 1,400 Palestinian prisoners, many long-term.

 

April 24, 2008 – Hamas leader offers Israel six-month truce in Gaza but says fate of Shalit separate issue.

 

May 12 – Israel says ceasefire deal must include Shalit. Ceasefire talks falter 10 days later over Israel’s refusal to reopen Gaza’s border crossings.

 

June 9 – Israeli television says Shalit’s family receives hand-written letter from their son.

 

June 17 – Israel and Hamas agree to Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

 

July 4 – Hamas suspends prisoner swap talks in dispute over Israeli blockade and cross-border rocket fire from Gaza.

 

Sept 25 – Hamas rejects list of prisoners Israel is ready to free in exchange for Shalit, saying it wants more.

 

Dec 19 – Fragile six-month ceasefire between Israel and Hamas expires as they fail to agree on terms to extend truce.

 

Dec 27 – Israel launches 22-day military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis are killed.

 

Jan 18, 2009 – Israel and Hamas cease fire in Gaza.

 

Feb 14 – Gaza truce deal stalls after Israel insists on Shalit release as condition to ceasefire.

 

Sept 30 – Israel and Hamas confirm deal to exchange proof that Shalit is alive for release of 20 female Palestinians.

 

Oct 2 – Video is handed over and authenticated in which Shalit looked “pale but in good health”. A Red Cross convoy carries women to freedom in the West Bank and Gaza.

 

Nov 25 – Israel rejects a demand for the release of several Hamas commanders as part of any exchange for Shalit, signalling talks have hit a snag. Israel has long balked at granting amnesty to Palestinians jailed for attacks that killed Israelis.

 

June 27, 2010 – Shalit’s parents begin a 12-day march from their northern home to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau’s Jerusalem residence to press for a prisoner swap.

 

April 9, 2011 – The Israeli military says that Tayser Abu Snima, a top Hamas militant, killed in a raid, was “directly and physically involved” in Shalit’s capture.

 

June 23 – The International Committee of the Red Cross calls on Hamas to provide proof that Shalit is still alive five years after his capture.

 

July 4 – Defence Minister Ehud Barak halts the handover of 84 bodies of Palestinian militants to Palestinian authorities, hours after the military said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had approved the move. The stop order is to ensure no harm would be done to negotiations on any future swap deal to secure Shalit’s release.

 

Oct 3 – Hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails join a hunger strike to protest against worsening prison conditions, the Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs says. Netanyahu toughened restrictions on Palestinian prisoners as part of an effort to force Hamas to free Shalit.

 

Oct 11 – Israeli and Hamas officials say a deal has been reached to swap Shalit for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

 

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Gilad Shalit’s Imprisonment 5 Years Later

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

Five years on, Shalit’s imprisonment an open wound for Israel

Source: JTA, 6-26-11

Noam Shalit, father of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, sits beneath a banner depicting his son and Ron Arad, the missing-but-assumed-dead Israeli airman, in a protest tent near the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, June 2, 2011. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Michal Naamani traveled to Jerusalem from her home near Kfar Saba to hand out yellow ribbons to passers-by and bumper stickers to motorists reading “Gilad is alive.”

Naamani, a high school teacher, felt that she wanted to do something to help captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

“I’m a mother. I have a younger brother doing reserve duty,” Naamani told JTA on Friday, the day before the ifth anniversary of Shalit’s capture in a raid on the Gaza-Israel border that left two other soldiers dead. “I’m here because if it was my son, I would want someone to support me as well.”

Shalit’s family members have done practically everything they can think of to keep Gilad in the public eye.

Last year they marked the anniversary of his capture by marching from their home in northern Israel to Jerusalem, with thousands of Israelis joining them for part of the way. This year Gilad’s older brother, Yoel, disrupted Israel’s state ceremony on Israeli Independence Day.

“We say to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, you have no mandate to sentence Gilad to death,” Noam Shalit, Gilad’s father, said during a news conference Sunday morning outside the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem, where the family announced a new campaign to garner more tangible public support for striking a deal to bring home Shalit.

Shalit family members chained themselves together outside the residence in Jerusalem on Saturday night, as hundreds of supporters gathered in support. Others protested outside Netanyahu’s home in Caesarea.

Meanwhile, dozens of Israeli celebrities and politicians marked 24 hours beginning Saturday night at Herzliya Studios, Israel’s largest TV facility, with each spending an hour in “solitary confinement” in solidarity with the captured soldier.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, announced that his government had accepted a German-mediated deal to free Shalit.

“This proposal was harsh; it was not simple for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said Sunday in a statement released after the weekly Cabinet meeting. “However, we agreed to accept it in the belief that it was balanced between our desire to secure Gilad’s release and to prevent possible harm to the lives and security of the Israeli people. As of now, we have yet to receive Hamas’s official answer to the German mediator’s proposal.”

Netanyahu did not specify the terms of the proposal, but said that “The State of Israel is ready to go far, more than any other country, in order to secure Gilad’s release but it is my responsibility, and the responsibility of those who are sitting here, to see to the security and lives of the Israeli people.”

Five years on and without a clear sign that a prisoner-exchange deal with Hamas is in the offing or even that their son is still alive, the Shalits have become a symbol of what Israelis — whose children are subject to mandatory military service — fear most….READ MORE

Gilad Shalit 5 Years Later: Jerusalem, Hundreds arrive at Shalit tent to mark 5 years since kidnapping

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

Source: YNet News, 6-25-11

Hundreds arrived at the Shalit family tent in Jerusalem to mark five years since the kidnapping of soldier Gilad Shalit.

Activists blocked the street outside the prime minister’s house while carrying signs saying: “Mr. prime minister, can one return from captivity only in a coffin?” and “Bibi, I’m sorry I’m alive. Gilad Shalit.” (Omri Efraim)

Gilad Shalit 5 Years Later: After five years of Shalit deal impasse, recent diplomatic moves bring new hope

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

Source: Haaretz, 6-24-11

Sources involved in the talks say despite extremist positions voiced by both sides, the outlines of the deal have long been known: the release, in two phases, of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit.

 

The fifth year of Gilad Shalit’s captivity, which ends today, brought no better news than its predecessors. It had the usual mix of lip service and grand protests – yielding nothing except publicity for their creators and unfounded, optimistic reports about supposed progress in the negotiations.

There were a few developments between last June and now, but effectively the negotiations remained where they ran aground in December 2009, with what appears to be a nearly unbridgeable gap between Israel’s maximum offer and Hamas’ minimal demand.

Gilad Shalit Jabalya residents walking yesterday past a mural depicting captured soldier Gilad Shalit.
Photo by: Reuters

Sources involved in the talks say that despite the extremist positions being put forth publicly by both sides, the outlines of the deal have long been known, and that it’s clear to everyone they contain the only possible solution: the release, in two phases, of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit.

The sources expressed the hope that no reckless measures will impede the talks. Were they warning against an attempt to abduct another Israeli soldier?

For now, it appears that disagreement over the fate of a few dozen senior prisoners, arch-terrorists, is holding up the deal. Will they all be freed? Will those from the West Bank be exiled to the Gaza Strip or abroad?

Perhaps only a radical combination of external circumstances, such as continued unrest in the Middle East or real movement in the relationship among Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, could bring the negotiations out of their coma.

There were a few localized changes on the negotiations front: Senior Mossad official David Meidan replaced Haggai Hadas as chief negotiator; Egypt returned to the picture in providing assistance to German mediator Gerhard Conrad, giving a big boost to Cairo’s relations with the Hamas leadership in Gaza. But the key is still the parties’ willingness to move forward.

For now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears unwilling to cross the line he drew a year and a half ago. Hamas, particularly the armed wing of the organization that is holding Shalit, continues to make unreasonable demands….READ MORE

Gilad Shalit 5 Years Later: Rabbi Steve Gutow: What Has Gilad Shalit Missed and What Have We Experienced?

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

In 2006, Facebook had just 10 million users, Justin Bieber was 11, and Gilad Shalit was free.

On June 25, 2006, Hamas terrorists captured Gilad Shalit, an Israeli corporal, in a cross border raid. He has remained captive since.

A lot can happen in five years.

Facebook now has over 500 million users and Bieber Fever is a global pandemic. However, Gilad is still a captive and his whereabouts and health remain unknown. Hamas, against the urging of the U.S. and U.N., has continued to deny the International Committee of the Red Cross access to Gilad. Instead, he has been held hostage, without access to the outside world, as a way to taunt and provoke Israel.

Through four different versions of the iPhone and the introduction, and reintroduction, of the iPad, Hamas has chosen to keep Gilad hidden from the world, isolated from his family and country. This is not how you treat a prisoner, but of course Hamas knows that. That is because after five years, 1,826 sunrises and sunsets, Gilad’s fate is not just that of a captive but rather a human tragedy. He is a victim of Hamas’s cruelty; a terrorist group’s rejection of the basic dignity of humankind. His captivity is a challenge to the commandment in Judaism of Pidyon Shvuyim, the mandate to free prisoners.

What has happened in five years? What has Shalit missed? Since he was first kidnapped, dictators from Musharraf to Mubarak have fallen in the name of liberty. Revolutions have begotten revolutions. The Arab Spring has come but Gilad remains excluded from the world. When an earthquake devastated Haiti and many rallied to her aid, Gilad sat in isolation. A war in Georgia began and ended. Independence was declared in Kosovo and Southern Sudan. Michael Jackson died and President Barack Obama was elected.

Over the past five years, while major events have shaped our world, Gilad has missed much of the years of young adulthood. Just 19 when he was kidnapped, he has been deprived of 260 weekends with his friends and 260 Shabbats with his family. There have been 250,000 weddings in Israel since the start of his captivity — none his and none has he celebrated. Every one of us can recollect how wondrous the early twenties have been in our lives. At their very best Gilad Shalit’s early twenties will not be memories he will cherish.

Gilad’s treatment has been both cowardly and immoral. While depriving him access to groups like the Red Cross, Hamas used him in propaganda videos. The human impact of Gilad’s captivity is difficult to describe and comprehend. The crime of Gilad’s isolation is not that he has never heard of Angry Birds. It is more; it is the idea that destroying a young man’s life is acceptable social policy under the terms of Hamas’ ethical foundation. Who are these people that could do this? From what part of their minds does this failure of basic decency come?

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs has started whatgiladmissed.org to help draw attention to just how long Gilad has been kept from the world and his loved ones. Only by recognizing the magnitude of this tragedy can we impel the world to rise up and say more forcefully than it already has: ‘This is not okay. This is not an act that we will sit still and allow to continue.’ I urge you to join the chorus of others on Twitter and Facebook and offer your own descriptions of #WhatGiladMissed.

Gilad has been gone for too long. He has missed out on too much. While Hamas has kept him hidden, we have been introduced to Sarah Palin and said goodbye to Harry Potter. There have been 665 million babies born and even more Lady Gaga costume changes. Life goes on and Gilad Shalit remains a captive. As long as he remains so, we have not done our work. Gilad does not deserve this fate and our task is to do all we can to end his horror.

Rabbi Steve Gutow is the President of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. For more information and updates, visit jewishpublicaffairs.org and follow @theJCPA on Twitter.

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