Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit
גלעד שליט
Gilad Shalit on the phone with his parents, after arriving in Israel on 18 October 2011
Born (1986-08-28) 28 August 1986
Nahariya, Israel
Citizenship Dual Israeli-French
Education Manor Kabri High School
Occupation Sports columnist
Known for Captured in Israel by Hamas militants, and held hostage for five years until released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.
Awards Honorary citizen of Paris, Rome, Miami, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh
Military career
Allegiance  Israel
Service/branch Israeli Army
Rank Sergeant First Class
Unit Armor Corps

Gilad Shalit (   , Gilˁad Šaliṭ born 28 August 1986) is an Israeli sports columnist and a former MIA soldier of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). On 25 June 2006, Shalit was captured by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid via underground tunnels near the Israeli border.[1][2] Hamas held him captive for over five years, until his release on 18 October 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal.

During his captivity, Hamas turned down requests from the Red Cross and was not allowed to communicate with family members (to which he is entitled as a captured soldier under the Geneva Conventions), and a ransom, even if not of a monetary nature, was demanded for his return.[10] The only contact between Shalit and the outside world after his capture and before his release were three letters, an audio tape, and a DVD that Israel received in return for releasing 20 female Palestinian prisoners.[11]

Shalit was captured near the Kerem Shalom crossing in Israel, and held by Hamas as a hostage at an unknown location in the Gaza Strip.[12] Hamas' initial demands of releasing of all female and underage Palestinians as well as Marwan Barghouti were not met.[13][14] On 18 October 2011, he was released in a deal that secured his freedom after more than five years in isolation and captivity, in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, including some convicted of multiple murders and carrying out attacks against Israeli civilians (according to Israeli government sources, the prisoners released were collectively responsible for 569 Israeli deaths[15][16]).[17][18]

Shalit was the first Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants since Nachshon Wachsman in 1994.[19] Shalit, having a rank of Corporal in the IDF's Armor Corps at the time of his capture, was promoted to Staff Sergeant, Sergeant First Class, and then Sergeant Major on the eve of his release.[20][21]


  • Personal life 1
  • Antecedents 2
  • Capture 3
  • Rescue attempt 4
  • Diplomatic efforts 5
    • Negotiations for release 5.1
  • Israeli society perceptions and activities 6
  • Captivity 7
    • Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal 7.1
    • Release 7.2
  • Location 8
  • International law 9
  • Efforts to help Shalit 10
    • 5th Anniversary Campaign (2011) 10.1
    • Gilad Shalit Worldwide Tehillim Project 10.2
  • Life after release 11
  • Honorary citizenships 12
    • Paris, France 12.1
    • Rome, Italy 12.2
    • In the United States 12.3
  • See also 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15
  • External links 16

Personal life

Shalit was born on 28 August 1986 in Nahariya, Israel, to Noam and Aviva Shalit. He has an older brother and a younger sister. He was raised from the age of two in Mitzpe Hila in the Western Galilee.

He graduated with distinction from Manor Kabri High School. He began military service in the Israel Defense Forces in July 2005, and "despite a low medical rating, chose to serve in a combat unit, following his older brother, Yoel, into the armored corps."[22] He holds dual Israeli and French citizenship, via his grandmother.[23]


The capture of Shalit was one of the more notable events that took place during the June/July 2006 flare-up of hostilities between Gaza and Israel, the others being the Gaza beach explosion (2006) and the Muamar family detention incident. Noam Chomsky has drawn attention to the cause-and-effect and also to the differences in treatment in the Western media between the Muamar kidnapping that took place a day earlier, and the abduction of Gilad Shalit.[24] The Israeli army seized the two Palestinian Muamar brothers in an overnight raid into the southern Gaza Strip on 24 June 2006, who allegedly were members of Hamas and were planning attacks on Israel. The army did not provide details on the nature of the alleged plot.[25] Hamas said they were sons of a member but were not involved in Hamas.[26] According to a report of the Israel Army Radio, published nearly a year after the occurrence, the IDF had received a warning on 24 June 2006, the day before Shalit was captured, about a planned abduction. Israeli security forces entered the Gaza Strip and kidnapped the two brothers. The report said that the brothers were transferred to Israel for interrogation, and that the information extracted formed the basis for the warning that militants would try to enter Israel through tunnels to capture soldiers stationed near Gaza.[27]. As of January 2012 the brothers were still in an Israeli jail, held without trial for over five years.[28]


Shalit on Hamas poster in Nablus, 7 May 2007; reads: "Our champion captives. May we have a new Gilad each year, and down :"They (Palestinian prisoners) are not alone".

On June 24, the day before the seizure of Gilad Shalit, Israeli forces had crossed over into the Gaza Strip and had seized two Palestinians whom they claimed were members of Hamas.[29]

Early on 25 June 2006, Palestinian militants from the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Popular Resistance Committees, and Army of Islam crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip through an underground tunnel near Kerem Shalom, and attacked an IDF post.[1][30] Two Israeli soldiers were killed and another two, apart from Shalit, were wounded. Two of the attacking Palestinian militants were also killed.[31] Shalit suffered a broken left hand and a light shoulder wound, and the militants captured him and took him via a tunnel into Gaza.[1][30]

Shalit's captors issued a statement the following day, offering information on Shalit if Israel were to agree to release all female Palestinian prisoners and all Palestinian prisoners under the age of 18.[32] The statement was issued by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees (which includes members of Fatah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas), and a previously unknown group calling itself the Army of Islam.

Shalit was the first Israeli soldier captured by Palestinians since Nachshon Wachsman, in 1994.[33] His capture and the following cross-border raid by Hezbollah, resulting in the capture of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev into Lebanon, occurred prior to the conflicts in Gaza and Lebanon during summer 2006.

The high-ranking Hamas commander whom Israel considers responsible for masterminding Shalit's capture, Abu Jibril Shimali, was killed during the violent clashes between Hamas and the

  • – Official site maintained by Shalit's family
  • Gaza Kidnapping of Israeli Soldier – News and updates related to Gilad Shalit
  • The Saga of Gilad Shalit – slideshow by Time magazine
  • (Hebrew) Shalit's audio tape recording
  • Gilad Watch Live clock counting up the amount of time Gilad Shalit has been in captivity
  • A taped video of Gilad Shalit speaking on YouTube in Hebrew (English subtitles added) which was broadcast on Israeli Television on 2 October 2009
  • Kerem Shalom attack and kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Shalit – published at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Kerem "When the Shark and the Fish First Met" by Gilad Shalit – published at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Gilad Shalit: five years of difficult negotiations – published at(o)Newspaper

External links

External links

  1. ^ a b c d "Hamas releases audio of captured Israeli". USA Today. 25 June 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Levinson, Chaim (11 October 2011). "TIMELINE / 1,940 days from Gilad Shalit's abduction to his release". Haaretz. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "PM vows to end jailed terrorists' privileges". The Jerusalem Post. 23 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Report: Hamas leader Haniyeh sent Netanyahu a conciliatory message". 18 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Inquiry into Gaza conflict singles out Israeli policy towards Palestinians for most serious condemnation"
  6. ^ "The Deauville G-8 Declaration". The White House (Press release). 27 May 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Commander of Shalit abduction killed by Israeli air strike". FRANCE 24. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "News from Israel, Ynetnews – Gaza kidnapping". Ynetnews. 25 June 2006. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Q&A: Gilad Shalit release deal". BBC News. 18 October 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Palestinian militants issue ultimatum to Israel". Reuters. 3 July 2006. 
  11. ^ Calev Ben-David (21 December 2009). "Israel Orders More Talks on Shalit Prisoner Swap Deal (Update2)". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  12. ^ Miskin, Maayana (26 October 2008). "Hamas Demands Release of Notorious Killers". Arutz Sheva. 
  13. ^ Palestine's Mandela by Uri Avnery. Accessed: 5 December 2009.
  14. ^ Matt Beynon Rees (6 January 2010). "Analysis: The "Palestinian Nelson Mandela". The Boise Weekly. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  15. ^ Army Radio newscast, 20 October 2011
  16. ^ , 20 October 2011Haaretz
  17. ^ [6] – Haaretz, [7] – UPI – "[K]idnapped soldier Gilad Shalit"
  18. ^ a b "In Shalit deal, Israel did cross its own red lines." Haaretz, 14 October 2011.
  19. ^ "Israel seizes Hamas legislators". BBC. 29 June 2006. 
     – Cpl Gilad Shalit, 19: First Israeli soldier abducted by Palestinians since 1994
     – Amnesty International, the human rights group, called for all hostages to be released [...].
  20. ^ "Parents of Gilad Shalit received their son's ranks of Staff Sergeant". Ynet (20 June 1995). Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  21. ^ "Shalit promoted to rank of IDF sergeant-major on eve of release"
  22. ^ "Behind the Headlines: Six months in terrorist captivity". Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2007. 
  23. ^ *Spencer, Richard (19 October 2011). "'"Israel: Gilad Shalit 'joked with military doctors over health.  
  24. ^ "Comments on Dershowitz", by Noam Chomsky
  25. ^ Alan Dershowitz quote of an Associated Press report
  26. ^ "Israel captures pair in Gaza raid". BBC. 24 June 2006. Retrieved 1 August 2006. 
  27. ^  
  28. ^ "Recognizing the "Unpeople""
  29. ^ Donaldo Pereira Macedo, Media Literacy: A Reader, Peter Lang, 2007 p.97.
  30. ^ a b Two soldiers killed, one missing in Kerem Shalom terror attack. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  31. ^ Q&A: Israeli soldier held in Gaza, BBC News, Monday, 25 June 2007
  32. ^ "Militants issue Israel hostage demands". CNN. 26 June 2006. 
  33. ^ "Israel seizes Hamas legislators". BBC. 29 June 2006. 
    – Cpl Gilad Shalit, 19: First Israeli soldier captured by Palestinians since 1994
    – Amnesty International, the human rights group, called for all hostages to be released [...].
  34. ^ Hamas: Head of Al-Qaida affiliate killed in Gaza, Haaretz, 18 August 2009
  35. ^ Rosenberg, David (28 June 2006). "Israeli Army Enters Gaza to Find Kidnapped Soldier (update 2)". Bloomberg. 
  36. ^ Hanan Greenberg (28 June 2006). "IAF: Aerial flight over Assad's palace".  
  37. ^ "Today in the News".  
  38. ^ "Israel: ‘Sky will fall’ if soldier is harmed". Times of Oman. 5 July 2006. 
  39. ^ "FACTBOX—The crisis over Israel's captured soldier". Reuters. 2 July 2006. 
  40. ^ "Palestinian militants say 'discussion closed' on fate of kidnapped soldier after ultimatum expires".  
  41. ^ "Pope's rep tried for Shalit's release".  
  42. ^ "Proof of life letter from captive Israeli soldier". News Interactive. 15 September 2006. 
  43. ^ "Progress on Israel-Palestinian prisoner swap-Hamas" Alternet, 26 October 2006
  44. ^ "'"Shalit captivity 'to end in days. Al Jazeera. 26 October 2006. Archived from the original on 27 November 2006. 
  45. ^ "Hamas predicts new uprising if no peace progress" Asharq Al-Awsat, 25 November 2006
  46. ^ Abu Toameh, Khaled (9 January 2007). "We're ready to keep Shalit for years".  
  47. ^ Army of Islam: IDF soldier Shalit held exclusively by Hamas Ha'aretz, 18 January 2007
  48. ^ "Shalit agreement 'all but finished'" The Jerusalem Post, 8 March 2007
  49. ^ "Sources: Hamas gives Israel letter from Gilad Shalit" Ha'aretz, 4 February 2008
  50. ^ Ha'aretz Service and News Agencies (13 April 2008). "Noam Shalit: The fact that Carter isn't pro-Israel may be beneficial".  
  51. ^ "Shalit's father: Gilad begs for his life in new letter" Ha'aretz, 10 June 2008
  52. ^ "Hamas says not interested in renewing Shalit negotiations" Ha'aretz, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel
  53. ^ United Nations Security Council Verbotim Report 5963. S/PV/5963 page 2. Lynn Pascoe 20 August 2008. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
  54. ^ "Israel to release 200 Palestinian prisoners". The Irish Times. 17 August 2008. 
  55. ^ BBC News: "Russian President calls for release of Gilad Shalit" 11 May 2010
  56. ^ SElder Shalit blames US for blocking bargaining talks. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  57. ^ "Israel ready to deal for Shalit release: Netanyahu". Reuters. 1 July 2010. 
  58. ^ a b Egypt: Shalit will disappear unless Israel compromises with Hamas|Israel News. Haaretz. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  59. ^ Ravid, Barak. "Israel, Hamas reach Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, officials say". Haaretz. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  60. ^ "Gilad Shalit to return to Israel within hours after High Court rejects bereaved families' petitions". Haaretz. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  61. ^ "Turkey working for Shalit's release – Israel News, Ynetnews". Ynetnews. 20 June 1995. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  62. ^ "Israel extends thanks for Shalit help: Voice of Russia". 12 October 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  63. ^ Thomas Seibert (12 November 2012). "Turkey aided effort to free Israeli soldier but relations still frosty". The National. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  64. ^ "How did Turkey save Gilad Shalit?". Hürriyet Daily News. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  65. ^
  66. ^ Mitnick, Joshua (12 October 2011). "Hamas Vows Soldier's Release". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  67. ^ a b Ahronoth, Yedioth (17 October 2011). "Poll: 79% of Israelis support Shalit deal". Ynetnews. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  68. ^ a b Prisoners Dilemma, J Post, 25 March 2009
  69. ^ Haaretz, 1 March 2010, "Noam Shalit Urges UN to Implement Goldstone Report,"
  70. ^ Shalit family marks Gilad's 23rd b'day The Jerusalem Post, 28 August 2009
  71. ^ 'Tweet4Schalit' campaign reaches No. 2 spot in Twitter, J Post, 27 August 2009
  72. ^ Haaretz. "Return Gilad Shalit, but not at any price." by Gideon Levy. 30 August 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2009
  73. ^ Israelis demand Red Cross visit Shalit, UPI, 25 August 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  74. ^ Protesters block security prisoners' visits at Sharon Prison, YNET, 23 March 2009. (20 June 1995). Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  75. ^ Haaretz. "Return Gilad Shalit, but not at any price." by Gideon Levy. 30 August 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  76. ^ Israeli Warplanes Bomb Gaza Tunnels. (2 January 2010). Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  77. ^ [8]. The Jerusalem Post(17 October 2011). Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  78. ^ Mock-Schalit paraded in Hamas rally, The Jerusalem Post, 14 December 2008
  79. ^ Gaza Truce May Be Revived by Necessity. By Ethan Bronner. The New York Times. 19 December 2008.
  80. ^ Psychological Tricks to Demoralize the Enemy, Der Spiegel, Jan.16, 2009
  81. ^ Hamas: Shalit ‘no longer interests us’, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), 11 January 2009.
  82. ^ Prisoner swap
  83. ^ ''New York Daily News'' report on Shalit. Daily News (New York). (26 January 2009). Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  84. ^ Federman, Josef (16 March 2009). "Israeli envoys race to free captive soldier". Google. Associated Press. Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  85. ^ "Palestinians: Swap talks deadlocked over 'heavyweight' prisoners". Ynet. 17 March 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2009. 
  86. ^ Peres invites Gilad Shalit's family to meet pope. Haaretz. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  87. ^ B'Tselem call to free Shalit banned in Gaza, Ynet, 25 June 2009
  88. ^ Hamas taunts Israel with Gilad Shalit cartoon, Haaretz, 7 July 2009
  89. ^ "Noam Shalit to UN: My son's abduction was a war crime", Haaretz, 7 July 2009
  90. ^ Gaza campers stage 'Shalit abduction' at final ceremony The Jerusalem Post, 27 July 2009
  91. ^ Children stage Shalit abduction, UPI, 27 July 2009
  92. ^ Bousso, Ron (30 September 2009). "Israel to free prisoners for info on captured soldier". Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 30 September 2009. 
  93. ^ "Das IKRK soll Gilad Shalit besuchen können" (in German). Curia Vista – Geschäftsdatenbank – Die Bundesversammlung – Das Schweizer Parlament. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011. Das Video von Gilad Shalit, das die De-facto-Behörden in Gaza im Herbst 2009 veröffentlichten, ist namentlich auf eine Intervention der Schweiz zurückzuführen. [Translation: ‘Namely the Video of Gilad Shalit that the de facto authorities of Gaza published in the autumn of 2009 is to be attributed to an intervention of Switzerland.’] 
  94. ^ "Trade for Shalit info completed". The Jerusalem Post. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  95. ^ Khoury, Jack. (14 September 2009) Daily Newspaper | Israel NewsHaaretzGilad Shalit in video: I've been longing for my freedom for a long time – . Haaretz. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  96. ^ Zurich churches to turn off lights for Shalit Swiss cathedrals honor Gilad Shalit
  97. ^
  98. ^ Service, Haaretz. (2 June 2010) 'Israel willing to pay heavy price to free Gilad Shalit – but not any price'. Haaretz. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  99. ^ July 8, 2010 anti-terrorist exchange protest in Jerusalem. Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  100. ^ Freid, Stephanie L.. (14 July 2010) Is Bill Clinton the Key to Winning Gilad Shalit’s Release?. Pajamas Media. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  101. ^ 'Hamas thwarts attempt to locate Gilad Schalit'. The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  102. ^ Gedalyahu, Tzvi Ben (30 November 2010). "Abbas: Free Shalit – 4 ½ Years after He Turned Down His Freedom". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
  103. ^ Ravid, Barak. "Israel, Hamas reach Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, officials say". Haaretz. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  104. ^ "Captured soldier Gilad Shalit returns to Israel after five years in captivity". News Core. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  105. ^ 'Gilad Schalit was accompanied by suicide bombers at time of his release'
  106. ^ "Swapped Palestinian prisoners to be exiled". EuroNews. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  107. ^ Israel Hayom, 25 October 2011.
  108. ^ Simon Gordon, "Shalit: The French Connection," Jewish Ideas Daily, 26 October 2011.
  109. ^ Shalit Debriefings
  110. ^ 'Even Hamas leaders don't know where Shalit is'| Israel News. Haaretz Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  111. ^ Bergman, Ronen (9 November 2011). "Gilad Shalit and the Rising Price of an Israeli Life". The New York Times. 
  112. ^ Shalit's father expresses hope Hamas is willing to negotiate. Haaretz. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  113. ^ Report: Shalit's Location Known. Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  114. ^ Report: Shalit transferred to secure location in Egypt|. Haaretz. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  115. ^ Gaza: ICRC urges Hamas to allow captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit regular contact with his family, ICRC, 18 June 2009
  116. ^ a b "Holding Gilad Shalit as a hostage is a war crime" – B'Tselem press release (25 June 2007)
  117. ^ "Exploitation of International Law". NGO Monitor. 21 January 2009. 
  118. ^ Gaza: Allow Shalit Contact With Family, (and) with International Red Cross, Human Rights Watch, 24 June 2009
  119. ^ Danon, Danny. (25 June 2010) Hamas has no new information on Schalit. The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  120. ^ "practices of democracy do not sit comfortably with Greens or Labor eggheads". The Australian. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  121. ^ Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  122. ^ Efforts intensify for release of Gilad Shalit on fifth anniversary of his capture. (26 June 2011). Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  123. ^ “Human Rights Community” Agrees: Gilad Shalit Should Remain in Captivity. (24 June 2011). Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  124. ^ "Israelis mark Gilad Shalit's sixth birthday in captivity with protests". Haaretz. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  125. ^ "Noam Shalit to speak at Tel Aviv social justice protest". Haaretz. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  126. ^ "Gilad Shalit Worldwide Tehillim Project". 
  127. ^ "התקשורת חתמה על אמנה לא להפר את פרטיות שליט במשך 10 ימים – גלובס". 18 October 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
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  132. ^ "חדשות 2 – זה רשמי: גלעד שליט השתחרר מצה"ל". Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
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  135. ^ Gerhman, Andrew (28 February 2012). "Schalit drops in on All-Star game – JPost – Sports". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
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  137. ^ nana10 סלבס (17 June 2009). "נענע10 – ואז הראל סקעת פגש את גלעד שליט – סלבס". Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  138. ^ Ahren, Raphael (13 June 2012). "Gilad Shalit becomes sports columnist". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  139. ^ "Gilad Shalit Lands Job as Sports Reporter – Inside Israel – CBN News – Christian News 24-7". Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  140. ^ "Shalit named citizen of Paris".  
  141. ^ "Rome's mayor favors giving Shalit citizenship".  
  142. ^ Khoury, Jack (31 March 2009). "Noam Shalit: Netanyahu must outdo Olmert's attempts to release Gilad".  
  143. ^ Shalit named honorary Roman citizen, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), 2 July 2009.
  144. ^ Benhorin, Yitzhak (23 April 2009). "Miami names Shalit honorary citizen".  
  145. ^ 25 Jun 2009, Schalit demo held at Defense Ministry
  146. ^ 29 June 2011, Gilad Shalit is made Honorary Citizen of Baltimore – State of Maryland and Baltimore City Demand his Release [9]
  147. ^ 30 August 2011, Israeli prisoner of war named honorary citizen of Pittsburgh [10]


See also

The city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania made Shalit an honorary citizen on 30 August 2011, in honor of his twenty-fifth birthday.[147]

The city of Baltimore, Maryland made Shalit an honorary citizen on 29 June 2011, the fifth anniversary of his capture.[146]

The city of New Orleans, Louisiana made Shalit an honorary citizen on 25 June 2009, the third anniversary of his capture.[145]

On 23 April 2009, Shalit was made an honorary citizen of Miami, Florida. The move was announced during a municipality council meeting, which also approved a bill declaring Israel's Independence Day as "Israel Day" in Miami.[144]

In the United States

During a public menorah-lighting ceremony on 21 December 2008, Gianni Alemanno, the Mayor of Rome, Italy, said that a proposal by Rome Jewish Community President Riccardo Pacifici (the grandson of Riccardo Reuven Pacifici) to make Shalit an honorary citizen of Rome was "an excellent idea." Alemanno added that he wanted to extend the honor "to give a sign of solidarity to the Jewish community."[141] On 16 April 2009, during a formal evening celebrating Israel's 60th anniversary, Alemanno announced that the city declared Shalit an honorary citizen. Alemanno said that the Shalit affair does not concern the State of Israel alone, but the whole of humanity.[142] On 1 July 2009, Alemanno conferred the honor to Shalit at a ceremony and presented a parchment declaration to Shalit's father, Noam. Alemanno said that making Shalit an honorary citizen was "a gesture of high symbolic value, with which Rome chooses to salute the values of life, of solidarity and of respect for the human rights." He added, "You cannot win using violence, kidnapping and ransom."[143]

Rome, Italy

On 16 December 2008, Shalit was named an honorary citizen of Paris, France, after Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë and the City Council unanimously voted to give the title to Shalit. The group Collective Freedom for Gilad praised the decision, stating "it is with immense joy that we have welcomed the news, which shows how well the French state is mobilized at every level to make it possible for a young man to regain his freedom and family". The French town of Raincy also named Shalit an honorary citizen, and the Grenoble City Hall hung his photo on their building facade the week of 10 December 2008.[140]

"Free Gilad" poster in France

Paris, France

Honorary citizenships

In June 2012, Shalit, an avid sports enthusiast and fan of Maccabi Tel Aviv B.C., found employment as a sports reporter for Yedioth Ahronoth, covering Israeli and European basketball in a regular column. His first assignment was in the United States, covering the 2012 NBA Finals in Oklahoma City.[138][139]

After returning home from captivity, Shalit met with individuals who had supported his cause in order to thank them, including Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu[133] and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at his residence the Élysée Palace,[134] and he is often followed by the media into sports and other events, in which a public figure is photographed with him.[135][136][137]

On 18 April 2012 Shalit was released from the IDF with the rank of Sergeant Major.[132]

In January 2012, Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, announced his intention to run on the Israeli Labor Party's candidates list during primaries for the Knesset.[130][131]

The defense establishment decided to enable Shalit to acclimatize first, after captivity, before beginning the debriefing ordinarily conducted immediately upon the arrival home of Israeli POWs and captives.

After returning from captivity, Shalit began medical treatment for his injuries. On 4 November, he underwent surgery at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa to remove pieces of shrapnel that had been lodged in his arm during the abduction. During the two-hour operation, doctors found and removed seven pieces of shrapnel from his elbow and forearm, two of which were pressing on nerves.[128][129]

After his release from captivity Shalit returned to his parents' home in Mitzpe Hila. His release, the focus of attention in Israel and abroad, attracted many media outlets and ordinary citizens to Mitzpe Hila. Out of courtesy to Shalit, and given the sensitivity of the issue, many Israeli media outlets pledged to avoid intensive coverage that may compromise the privacy of Shalit.[127] Nevertheless, during the days after his release, many reports appeared about him. Shalit was also visited at his home in Mitzpe Hila by Israeli President Shimon Peres and French Ambassador Christophe Bigot.

Toward Shalit's release, the Israeli Defense Ministry decided, as precedent, that Shalit will be recognized as a disabled veteran with at least 20% disability, immediately upon his release from captivity. Shalit was a Corporal when he was abducted, and during his captivity he was promoted to Sergeant.

Life after release

The Gilad Shalit Worldwide Tehillim Project[126] was established to support the reciting of Tehillim (Psalms) for Gilad Shalit. The goal is to have all of Tehillim recited daily.

Gilad Shalit Worldwide Tehillim Project

A protest was also held in August 2011 outside Benjamin Netanyahu's office to mark Shalit's sixth birthday in captivity.[124] Gilad Shalit's father Noam also spoke at the social justice protest in Tel Aviv.[125]

Several prominent Israeli, Palestinian, and international human rights organizations issued a joint statement in June 2011 calling on Hamas to end its "illegal" and "inhumane" treatment of Shalit, including Amnesty International, B'Tselem, Bimkom, Gisha, Human Rights Watch, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Physicians for Human Rights, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Rabbis for Human Rights, The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Yesh Din;[122] though Noah Pollak, writing in Commentary, noted that the statement did not call for the release of Shalit.[123]

In June 2011, the MP, MEP and to write letters to newspapers and to Shalit's family with words of support.[121] This followed a two-week Gilad Shalit Awareness Campaign in February, organized by the Embassy of Israel alongside ten other community organizations.

5th Anniversary Campaign (2011)

"Where are you, boy?" Notes for Shalit, Jerusalem

Efforts to help Shalit


In June 2010, on the fourth anniversary of Shalit's kidnapping, Human Rights Watch made a statement describing Hamas' treatment of Shalit as "cruel and inhuman," saying it illustrates the UN definition of torture and violates the international rules of war by prohibiting him from having contact with his family or visits from the Red Cross.[119]

A UN fact-finding mission headed by Judge Richard Goldstone assigned to investigate the Gaza War, which released its Report in September 2009, called for Shalit to be released.[5]

Human Rights Watch also stated that Hamas authorities were obligated by the laws of war to allow Shalit to correspond with his family, and noted that three letters and a voice recording cannot be counted as regular correspondence. HRW also called for him to receive visits from the ICRC, and said that the prolonged incommunicado detention of Shalit was cruel and inhumane and amounted to torture.[118]

Israeli NGO Monitor said that Shalit's abductors breach several provisions of the Third Geneva Convention, e.g., the right to humane treatment (Art. 13); the right to have knowledge of a POW's location (Art. 23); and the right to unfettered access to the Red Cross (Art. 126).[117]

An ICRC representative said that under international humanitarian law Shalit is entitled to regular and unconditional contacts with his family.[115] On 25 June 2007, the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem issued a statement saying "international humanitarian law absolutely prohibits taking and holding a person by force in order to compel the enemy to meet certain demands, while threatening to harm or kill the person if the demands are not met", and thus holding Shalit as a hostage to their demands is a war crime.[116] B'Tselem also noted that denying access to ICRC visitations is also a violation of international law.[116]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) repeatedly asked Hamas for permission to visit Shalit to ascertain his conditions of detention and treatment. Hamas refused the requests.

International law

In June 2011, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida reported that Shalit had been transferred to a secret and secure location in Egypt ahead of an expected final deal. The newspaper quoted sources as saying that Shalit had been accompanied by Hamas commanders Ahmed Jabari and Mahmoud al-Zahar.[114]

In October 2009, Asharq Al-Awsat reported that a senior Israeli defense official had told the newspaper that Israel knew exactly where Shalit was being held, and was keeping the location under constant surveillance. The newspaper reported that Hamas was aware that Israel knew Shalit's location, and responded by booby-trapping the area, surrounding it with explosives in a 400–500-meter radius, and issuing a directive to kill Shalit if Israel mounted a military rescue operation.[113]

In June 2007, Israeli media, citing Hamas sources, reported that Shalit was being held in the basement of a booby-trapped building near Rafah in Gaza, and was being cared for by two guards with whom he had established a cordial relationship. Shalit's living quarters were described as a two-room underground store with enough supplies for two weeks, accessible down a ladder through a 15-meter-deep shaft lined with explosives. The report added that the guards receive supplies and newspaper clippings every two weeks, and that they had been ordered to take good care of Shalit.[112]

Shortly after the abduction, locating Shalit became a top priority of Israeli intelligence, which soon received false information that he was being held in a fenced private residence on the outskirts of Gaza City. The information had been planted by Hamas to lure the Israelis into raiding the booby-trapped house. Planning for a rescue operation was underway when Israeli intelligence learned of the plot.[111]

The location in which Shalit was held is unknown. According to Israeli Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, even the leaders of Hamas did not know Shalit's exact whereabouts. Only a small group of militants knew where Shalit was being held, and most of them had been killed in IDF operations. According to Vilnai, "there is a very small group of people who are holding Gilad Shalit who know, and a large number of them are no longer with us".[110]


In March 2013, the Jerusalem Post released information that Shalit told IDF investigators after being released.[109] He stated that he was treated well, that he watched all the World Cup games on television, and that he sat on the roof of the family he was with and looked at the Mediterranean.

Shortly after his release, on 24 October 2011, President Shimon Peres visited Shalit at his home in Mitzpe Hila to congratulate him and wish him well. At this time, Peres called Shalit a hero, and said that he was proud of his ability "to withstand extremely difficult conditions in captivity." Noam Shalit thanked Peres for his efforts in obtaining Shalit's release.[107] France's President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a congratulatory letter to Gilad Shalit, mentioning France's role in pressuring Hamas to release him.[108]

On 18 October 2011, Gilad Shalit was returned to Israel as part of the agreement with Hamas.[104] Hamas militants during the exchange wore suicide belts in the event that Israel tried to change the terms at the last minute.[105] The first 447 Palestinian prisoners were also freed and transferred as part of the exchange, the prisoners were also exiled from Israeli territory.[106]


Five years and four months after Shalit was captured by Palestinian militants in southern Israel, a deal was reached between Israel and Hamas to release Shalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners. The deal was brokered by German and Egyptian mediators and signed in Egypt on 11 October 2011. Its first phase was executed on 18 October, with Israel releasing 450 Palestinian prisoners and Hamas transferring Shalit to Cairo.[103]

Shalit salutes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 18 October 2011
Shalit meets his father after five years in captivity, 18 October 2011

Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal

In June 2011, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at a joint press conference, issued a call for Shalit's release. This followed Shalit's father, Noam, filing a suit in France to investigate his son's kidnapping. Shalit is a dual citizen, also holding French citizenship.[58]

At the end of November 2010, PA President Mahmoud Abbas called for Shalit to be released, comparing his situation to that of Arab prisoners held in Israeli prisons.[102]

In October 2010, Hamas officials claimed to have thwarted an attempt to locate Shalit. A collaborator in Hamas's military wing was caught planting bugs in two-way radios. Hamas leaders said the informer maintained relationships with top Hamas commanders, in order to learn where Shalit was being held.[101]

In late June 2010, Shalit's parents organized a march from Shalit's hometown to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, and were joined by 10,000 people. Shalit's parents stated that they would not go home until he was freed. On the fifth day of the march, as it reached Hadera, Israel agreed to a German-mediated prisoner exchange deal. Under the deal, Hamas would release Shalit, and Israel would release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. However, Israel stated that the released Palestinians would be barred from entering the West Bank, since this location would afford them access to Israeli cities. Israel also refused to release "arch-terrorists" as part of the deal. Hamas responded by saying that the problem was with who Israel was willing to release, not how many. Hamas demanded that Israel release 450 prisoners jailed for violent attacks on Israelis, but Israel refused to agree to release most of them. In an address, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was willing to pay a heavy price for Shalit, "but not any price". Shalit's grandfather Zvi called these comments a "death sentence" for Gilad.[98] When a pro-Gilad Shalit release march entered Jerusalem on 8 July, it was met by a group of protesters holding signs "Gilad – Not at any cost" and "Don't give up to terror". The protesters had red ribbons on their hands symbolizing the blood of possible future terror victims resulting from any exchange in terrorists for Shalit's release.[99] Those calling for Shalit's release included celebrities Bar Refaeli and Zubin Mehta.[100]

Graffiti for Shalit, Tel Aviv

In 2010, at least two cathedrals in Switzerland turned off their lights for several minutes in solidarity with Shalit.[96] On the fourth anniversary of Shalit's abduction, the lights of the Colosseum were turned off. and so were the lights around the Old City walls in Jerusalem. A flotilla of ships, called The True Freedom Flotilla, sailed around the Statue of Liberty and past the United Nations.[97]

Shalit's mother and brother at IPO solidarity concert

Israel transferred 19 Palestinian women being held in Hadarim Prison near Netanya to the Ofer and Shikma detention facilities, ahead of their final release. As soon as it was determined that the video met Israel's demands, the detainees were released and turned over to Red Cross vehicles, which transported them to the West Bank. Another female prisoner was slated for release by the Israel Prison Service, but it was found that she had already been released for good behavior. Another female prisoner was then selected as her substitute, and released on 4 October.[95]

Hamas turned over a two-minute 40-second video to Israel. Senior IDF officers, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu viewed the footage, after which Barak spoke to Shalit's father Noam and grandfather Zvi by telephone. The video was sent to the Shalit family home in Mitzpe Hila, with the family reportedly viewing it together. Members of the Israeli negotiating team for Shalit's release viewed the footage to ensure it met with Israel's demands, primarily with regard to how recently it was filmed. The video on YouTube, the only contact from Shalit other than three letters written by him and an audio tape released in June 2007, was released to the public at around 4:00 in the afternoon on Israeli television. In the video, Shalit is seen sitting in a chair in a bare room, looking frail and emaciated but otherwise healthy. He addressed Netanyahu and his parents, and reminisced about times he spent with his family. At the end of the video, he stated that the "Mujahideen of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades are treating me very well". During the video, he held up a newspaper dated 14 September 2009.[94]

On 30 September 2009, Israel announced that it would release 20 female Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a video proving Shalit was still alive.[92] The video was attributed to intervention by Switzerland.[93] The exchange took place successfully on 2 October.

The Jerusalem Post reported that it obtained photographs showing children at the graduation ceremony of a Hamas-run summer camp, reenacting Shalit's abduction.[90] The photos were reported to show Osama Mazini, a senior Hamas political official in charge of the Shalit negotiations with Israel, attending the play.[91]

In July 2009, Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, testified before the Goldstone Committee, which was investigating on behalf of the United Nations illegal conduct by combatants during Gaza War. Shalit told the committee that his son has lived without human rights for three years, and that no one, including the Red Cross, knows what happened to him or has paid him a visit.[89]

In June 2009, Israeli human rights group B'Tselem published an ad in the West Bank Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, calling on Hamas to release Shalit "immediately and unconditionally", but the Gaza-based daily Palestine refused to print it, according to a B'Tselem spokeswoman.[87] In July 2009, Hamas TV in Gaza broadcast a short animated movie that depicted Shalit chained to a jail cell wall, pleading with a Palestinian boy to be set free. The boy refuses, saying he has relatives in Israeli prisons.[88]

On 22 January 2009, Israel indicated that it was willing to swap Palestinians held in Israeli jails for Shalit as part of a longer-term truce after the three-week military operation in Gaza.[82] On 26 January 2009, it was reported that Israel was offering to free 1,000 prisoners in exchange for Shalit.[83] On 16 March 2009, it was reported that a prisoner-swap deal to gain Shalit's release was close, and the negotiation team was urged to wrap up the deal. Israel agreed to release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, but there were still disagreements over the number of prisoners.[84] The negotiation team however deadlocked over the release of 450 "heavyweight" prisoners. According to a senior source in the PM's Office, "a deal cannot be finalized on such terms, and there's nothing to vote on [in the government session] Tuesday".[85] In May 2009, President Shimon Peres invited Shalit's family to meet Pope Benedict XVI at the President's residence in Jerusalem.[86]

"Shalit may have been wounded, and he may not have been. The subject no longer interests us. We are not interested in his well-being at all, and we are not giving him any special guard since he is as good as a cat or less."[81]

At the start of the Gaza War, Hamas claimed that Shalit had been wounded by Israeli fire.[80] On 11 January 2009, Abu Marzuk, Deputy Chief of the Hamas Political Ministry, told the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat that:

In early December 2008, during a Hamas rally in Gaza City to mark 21 years since its founding, a Hamas member masquerading as Shalit was paraded by Hamas militia members.[78] Hamas' refusal to negotiate about the status of Shalit or even to provide further information about his status strained the temporary Israel-Hamas cease-fire enacted in June 2008.[79]


No modern government has the legal right to free terrorists in exchange for its own kidnapped citizens, military or civilian. Under long-standing international law, every state has a primary obligation to protect its citizens. Yet it appears that tomorrow, Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will exchange Palestinian terrorists for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. Any such exchange, however humane to Schalit and his family, would imperil thousands of other Israelis.[77]

On 17 October 2011, Purdue University Professor Louis Rene Beres made the case against freeing Shalit in an op-ed column in the Jerusalem Post:

Israeli opponents of such a deal spoke out, warning that releasing top Palestinian militants could result in the deaths of many Israelis in renewed attacks, as well as increased Palestinian motivation to kidnap more soldiers in the future. Israeli analyst Dan Schueftan called the possible swap deal "the greatest significant victory for terrorism that Israel has made possible."[76]

In several incidents during 2009, leaders of the campaign to free Shalit demonstrated at the prisons in which Palestinian detainees were held, preventing visits by Palestinian prisoners' families.[72][73][74] One such demonstration at the Erez crossing on the Gaza border blocked the passage of food and medicine to the Gaza Strip.[75] Israel said it would not ease its blockade of Gaza until Shalit was freed. The abducted soldier's long plight was extremely emotional issue within Israel, with large, tearful rallies on his birthdays and frequent media appearances by his father. Reflecting wide support for the cause, one Israeli TV anchor ended his daily newscast by mournfully reciting how many days the soldier has been held captive.

Shalit Protest Tent in Jerusalem

social networking site Twitter. Twitter users drove Shalit's name to the second-highest trend on the day of his 23rd birthday. Tweets for Shalit ranged from the demand "Free Shalit", to requests for international supervision of the case.[71]

On the evening of Shalit's 23rd birthday, on 28 August 2009, thousands attended a vigil for Shalit at the Western Wall, and dozens of activists protested outside Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, slamming Defense Minister Ehud Barak and criticizing IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.[70]

Noam Shalit, Gilad Shalit's father, urged the UN to take all possible measures to implement the findings of the Goldstone Report. The Goldstone Report called for Shalit's immediate release and, while he was in captivity, for access to him by the International Committee of the Red Cross.[69]

Poster: "Gilad is still alive"; February 2009

Others believe that the disagreement among Israelis represents rifts and changes within Israeli society. Attorney Dalia Gavriely-Nur, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, said that the camp opposing the prisoners deal is holding onto a view of collectivist society, in which the individual was expected to sacrifice himself for the good of society; the camp supporting the prisoner release is expressing, however, a high value on the sanctity of life, that symbolizes a shift to a more privatized society.[68]

A second camp said that Shalit should be released, but not on Hamas's conditions. They argue that the correct approach is to protect Israelis if the prisoners are released. According to the Dahaf Polling Institute, 14 percent of Israelis are in this camp.[67]

One camp supports the release of Shalit on Hamas's conditions. According to the Dahaf Polling Institute, 79 percent of Israelis favour this deal, which would include the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners and the deportation of some of them outside the territory of the Palestinian National Authority[68] or restricting them to Gaza.

The vast majority of Israel's citizens are in favor of the deal,[67] although a vocal minority opposes it, creating essentially two camps.

Shalit's parents

Israeli society perceptions and activities

When the tests were completed, he was then transferred by helicopter to his home, where many who supported his release waited outside his house to see his return. Shalit subsequently began to rehabilitate with IDF assistance.[66]

On 18 October 2011, Shalit was transferred to Israel. The IDF transferred him, via helicopter, to the base in Tel-Nof, where he was reunited with his parents and met the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the base he went through medical tests; it was found that he was malnourished and suffered from vitamin deficiencies.[65]

Despite poor relations with Israel at the time, the Republic of Turkey played a significant yet silent role in Shalit's release.[61][62][63][64] President Peres has also publicly thanked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for showing compassion to an Israeli soldier even as Turkey stays at odds with Israel.

Shalit's release negotiations include the release of 1,027 Hamas and Palestinian prisoners by Israel.[18][59][60]

On 11 October 2011, the Pan-Arabist Al Arabiya network reported that Israel and Hamas had reached an agreement on Shalit. Netanyahu convened a special Cabinet meeting to approve the Shalit deal.

[58] In early 2011, Egyptian-moderated negotiations continued between the Israeli government and Hamas, represented by

Netanyahu responded to a pilgrimage march, called by Shalit's father for his release, by saying he was willing to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, but that top Hamas leaders would not be among those released.[57]

Shalit's father had blamed the U.S. for blocking talks on his son's release.[56]

Negotiations for release

PA President Mahmoud Abbas called for the release of Shalit in a press conference with visiting German President Christian Wulff.

On 11 May 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for Shalit to be freed "as soon as possible". He made the call while meeting Hamas leaders in Damascus, Syria. "The Russian president urged solving the problem of releasing Israeli citizen Gilad Shalit as soon as possible," his spokeswoman said. Russia is the only country that has direct dialogue with Hamas. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal reportedly said Hamas would only consider releasing Shalit when Israel resumed talks to free Palestinian prisoners.[55]

On 20 August 2008, in his briefing to the United Nations Security Council, the Under-Secretary-General of the UN appeared to link the decision to release 200 Palestinian prisoners to the case,[53] though a Hamas spokesman saw it as an attempt to increase Palestinian internal divisions by releasing only those loyal to the Fatah faction.[54]

On 12 August 2008, Hamas said that it was suspending talks on Shalit's release, demanding a complete lifting of the Israeli siege. The decision angered Egypt, a mediator for Shalit's release. Hamas in turn criticized the Egyptians for linking the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Shalit's release, a condition to which Hamas refused to agree.[52]

On 9 June 2008, it was reported that Hamas sent Shalit's family a third letter. The group had promised to send them a third letter after mediation from Carter. The handwriting was confirmed to be Shalit's.[51]

Shalit's father Noam met with former United States President Jimmy Carter during Carter's April 2008 visit to Israel. Carter planned to visit Khaled Meshal of Hamas in Damascus later. Noam Shalit said that the fact that Carter was not considered pro-Israel could be beneficial in securing his son's release.[50]

On 4 February 2008, it was reported that Hamas had sent Shalit's family a second letter written by him. The handwriting was confirmed to be that of Shalit.[49]

On 25 June 2007, a year after Shalit's capture, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades released an audio tape on YouTube in which Shalit is heard sending a message to his family, friends, and the Israeli government and army, and appealing for a prisoner-swap deal to be reached to secure his release. Shalit said that his medical condition was deteriorating, and that he required immediate and lengthy hospitalization.

On 7 April 2007, it was reported that Shalit's captors had transferred to Israel, through Egyptian mediators, a list of Palestinian prisoners they wanted freed. The list included names of approximately 1,300 prisoners, some of whom were high-ranking Fatah members.

On 17 January 2007, one of the captor groups, the Army of Islam headed by Mumtaz Dormush, claimed that Shalit was being held exclusively by Hamas.[47] On 8 March 2007, Jerusalem Post reported that an agreement had been reached with Hamas over the number of prisoners Israel would release in return for Shalit. Israel and Hamas were still negotiating specific prisoners who Hamas wanted freed in return for Shalit.[48]

However, he threatened: “We have managed to keep the soldier in captivity for six months and we have no problem keeping him for years.”[46]

"has not been harmed at all ... He is being treated in accordance with Islamic values regulating the treatment of prisoners of war."

On 9 January 2007, Abu Mujahed, a spokesman for the captors, asserted that Shalit

In November 2006, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal indicated that Shalit was alive and in good health.[45]

On 28 October 2006, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) said in a statement that all three parties had agreed to a proposal by Egyptian mediators regarding Shalit's release. The PRC did not provide details, but said that the Egyptian proposal would include the release of Palestinians held by Israel.[44] It was the first time since Shalit's capture that any of the factions indicated that his release might be imminent.

In September 2006, Egyptian mediators received a letter in which Shalit wrote that he was alive and well. The handwriting was confirmed to be that of Shalit.[42] In October, Egypt was also reported to be negotiating with Hamas on behalf of Israel for Shalit's release.[43]

The Apostolic Nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco, attempted to secure Shalit's release via the Catholic Church's Gaza-based parish. He was not successful.[41]

Prime Minister [40]

"Free Gilad" sidewalk painting

Diplomatic efforts

On the same day, Shalit's captors demanded that Israel release an additional 1,000 Palestinian prisoners (in addition to all female and minor prisoners, as previously demanded), and end Israel's incursions into Gaza.[39] Two days later, the captors issued a 24-hour ultimatum for meeting their demands, threatening unspecified consequences if Israel refused.[10]

On 1 July, the BBC reported that Shalit had been treated by a Palestinian doctor for a broken hand and a light shoulder wound. Israeli government authorities threatened that the "sky will fall" if Shalit were harmed.[38]

On 29 June, the commander of the Israeli Southern Command, Aluf Yoav Galant, confirmed that Shalit was still in Gaza. Israel's Minister of Justice, Haim Ramon, added that Shalit was being held in southern Gaza, specifically. A military correspondent for the Israel Broadcasting Authority said that Shalit was being held captive in Rafah in southern Gaza, and that there was indication that he was still alive. However, IDF spokesperson Brig. Gen. Miri Regev said: “we are not convinced he is being held in southern Gaza… [only] that he is being held in Gaza".[37]

Israeli forces entered Khan Yunis on 28 June 2006 to restore quiet after repeated rocket attacks. Freeing Shalit was not one of the objectives of the mission called "Cast Lead". According to an Israeli embassy spokesperson, "Israel did everything it could in exhausting all diplomatic options and gave Mahmoud Abbas the opportunity to return the abducted Israeli… This operation can be terminated immediately, conditioned on the release of Gilad Shalit."[35] On the same day, four Israeli Air Force aircraft flew over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's palace in Latakia, because Israel views the Syrian leadership as a sponsor of Hamas, according to an IDF spokesperson.[36] The operation did not succeed in finding Shalit.

Rescue attempt