European Parliament calls for Gilad Shalit release

By Jessica Elgot, March 11, 2010
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Kidnapped Gilad Shalit: European Parliament is now pressing for his release

Kidnapped Gilad Shalit: European Parliament is now pressing for his release

The European Parliament have passed a motion calling for the immediate release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

MEPs from across the political spectrum signed a letter to EU Foreign Policy chief Lady Catherine Ashton, who will visit Israel and Palestinian areas next week. Israel will open the Erez crossing into Gaza for Lady Ashton’s visit.

Gilad Shalit, 23, was abducted almost four years ago by Hamas terrorists. No Red Cross members or negotiators have seen him, but videos and photographs have been released.

His father Noam Shalit, who met European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek in Strasbourg, welcomed the resolution, saying he hoped it would encourage the Israeli government to keep pressing for his son’s release.

Hamas is yet to respond to the latest offer of a prisoner exchange with Israel, where many hundreds of Hamas and Fatah terrorists and criminals may be freed in return for Mr Shalit’s freedom.

Last updated: 5:19pm, March 11 2010