Red Cross demands proof Shalit is alive

By Jennifer Lipman, June 23, 2011
Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit

Hamas must prove that Gilad Shalit is alive, the aid group the Red Cross (ICRC) has said.

In a public statement two days before Corporal Shalit's family mark five years of his captivity, ICRC director-general Yves Daccord said they were "more concerned that ever about his fate".

Mr Daccord said that after five years of unsuccessful appeals for Red Cross access to him and for Corporal Shalit to be allowed contact with his loved ones, his organisation was now demanding proof from Hamas.

"Hamas has an obligation under international humanitarian law to protect Mr Shalit's life, to treat him humanely and to let him have contact with his family," said Mr Daccord.

He said that under international law, the Shalit family has "the right…to be in contact with their son".

"The total absence of information concerning Mr Shalit is completely unacceptable."

Corporal Shalit was taken by terrorists during a border raid on June 25 2006. He was just 19-years-old at the time.

Hamas ignored the demand. "The Red Cross should not get involved in Israeli security games aimed at reaching Shalit," said spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

Last updated: 4:57pm, June 23 2011