Gilad Shalit

(1986- ) An Israeli soldier who was captured by Hamas on June 25, 2006 in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza Strip. The first Israeli soldier captured by Palestinians since 1994, Hamas held Shalit hostage until October 2011 (without any visitations from the International Committee for the Red Cross) when he was released in exchange for the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. The two main obstacles in the previous negotiations between Hamas and Israel for Shalit’s release had been: 1) Hamas’ insistence on the release of Marwan Barghouti, currently serving five life sentences for murder (ultimately, he was not part of the prisoner exchange); and 2) Israel’s demand that 230 Hamas-affiliated prisoners held by the Palestinian Authority be expelled from the West Bank. Those who called for Shalit’s release include the United Nations as well as various international human rights and aid organizations. See "Egypt: Shalit will disappear unless Israel compromises with Hamas," Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz, June 19, 2011 and "Gilad Shalit reveals details of his five years held hostage by Hamas," Phoebe Greenwood, The Telegraph, Oct 12, 2012.

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