Nadene GoldfootIt's been five years that Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. This young man was born August 28, 1986, the year after I left Israel. He joined the IDF at age 19 in July 2005. The next year, June 25, 2006, he was captured and taken prisoner.
Hamas terrorists had infiltrated an army post in Israel and had attacked them. Several of the IDF were killed. Corporal Gilad, in a tank, was hit by a rocket propelled grenade and had a broken hand and shoulder wound. He was kidnapped and taken, never to receive the rights in the Geneva Convention.
Israel has received 3 letters, an audio tape and a DVD letting them know he was alive. In order to receive this much Israel had to release 20 female Palestinian prisoners. In order to release Gilad, Hamas wants the release of all female and underage Arab prisoners plus 1,000 more of the men. The ICRC (Red Cross) reports that he has not been heard from for the past two years and wonder if he's alive.
Gilad is a dual citizen of Israel and France. His parents are Noam and Aviva Shalit. They have not been able to get messages to him. The Red Cross has been denied access. President Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany have been working on trying to help free Shalit. His parents admit that the price Hamas is asking is heavy. The Hamas prisoners Israel holds are hard core murderers. One in particular is Marway Barghouli who is serving 5 life-term sentences. If freed he could become the successor of Abbas, leader of Fatah who has just recently joined Fatah with Hamas.
The only other person I have heard about that was kept a prisoner for so long has been John McCain b: August 29, 1936 who was taken prisoner in Vietnam at age 36 and held for 6 years from October 1967 to 1973. He was later able to become a US Senator and then run for President, but was considered too old by many for the position.
A movement is urging everyone to write to the U.N., Red Cross, the European Union, the Palestinian Authority and the International Criminal Court to free Gilad. The website to send a birthday message is below.
http://www.meetgilad.com/ for birthday message