Gilad Shalit

Thousands sign Shalit petition

By Jennifer Lipman, July 23, 2010

A petition condemning the continued captivity of Gilad Shalit and calling for government action to secure his return has attracted nearly 6000 signatures.

Conservative MP Lee Scott will take the petition, organised by youth movement FZY, to the House of Commons on Thursday.


Baroness Ashton told easing blockade not enough

By Jennifer Lipman, July 19, 2010

A group of non governmental organisations have written to the EU High Representative claiming that Israel’s decision to ease the blockade of the Gaza Strip is not enough to rebuild the area’s economy.

The 19 organisations, including Amnesty International UK, Christian Aid, and War Child UK, asked Catherine Ashton to press for restrictions on Gaza to be lifted completely.


Shalit march reaches Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, July 8, 2010

A march to draw attention to Gilad Shalit’s plight has reached Jerusalem after a 12 day walk across the country by the captured soldier’s family and their supporters.

More than 20,000 people are expected to march to the official residence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before a rally in Independence Park.

The march began at the Shalit family home in Mitzpe Hila, Galilee, and Gilad’s father Noam has vowed to stay camped outside Mr Netanyahu’s home until his son is freed.


Gilad Shalit vigil in London

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

FZY members distribute leaflets and gather signatures for a petition calling for the release of captured soldier Gilad Shalit.

The youth movement arranged the week-long vigil, which ends on July 11, near Downing Street to draw attention to the plight of the Israeli soldier kidnapped in Gaza more than four years ago.



Noam Shalit slams IDF for Gilad kidnap

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2010

Gilad Shalit’s father has attacked the IDF for falling “asleep on the job” during the cross-border raid in which the soldier was captured more than four years ago.

Noam Shalit said official failings enabled the terrorists to infiltrate and kidnap his son, as well as kill two other Israeli soldiers.

He made the comments while on a visit near to the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza, where the then 19-year-old soldier was kidnapped by Palestinian militants in June 2006.


Israel ready to release 1,000 prisoners for Shalit

By Marcus Dysch, July 2, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has said he is prepared to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

In a live address on Israeli television, Mr Netanyahu said he was ready "to pay the price" of releasing the prisoners, but would not allow them to return to the West Bank and would not set free "arch-terrorists".

He has come under increasing pressure from Shalit's family. More than 10,000 supporters of the family marched in Netanya on Friday morning as part of a 12-day protest march to Jerusalem.


Ayalon: Shalit is the only Gaza crisis

By Jessica Elgot, July 1, 2010

Danny Ayalon told 70 ambassadors, including representatives from Egypt and the EU, at the Kerem Shalom Gaza crossing, that Israel consumes 25,000 tons of imported food and Gaza consumes 10,000 tons. Israel has a population which is seven times larger than Gaza.

However, Israel produces much of its own food, whereas Gazans depend greatly on imported supplies.

He said: “Israel is making every effort to make sure Gazans lack nothing. Hamas is the only obstacle in the residents' way.


Shalits must fight for Gilad, but Netanyahu must resist

By Uri Dromi, July 1, 2010

Thousands of Israelis have joined Aviva and Noam Shalit in a march meant to pressure the Israeli government into concluding a prisoner swap deal, and bring their son Gilad back home, after four years in captivity.

Isn't the government interested in freeing Gilad Shalit? Of course it is and, through the good services of the German mediator, it came as close as possible to striking a deal with Hamas last year. However, the government refused to yield to Hamas's demand to release some of the worst terrorists, responsible for the killing of hundreds of innocent Israelis.


Hamas: We can wait to free Gilad Shalit

By Moeen Elhelou, July 1, 2010

Hamas founding member Mahmoud al-Zahar has said that the movement is not in a rush to conclude a deal over Gilad Shalit.

"I think the deal will happen, but if not, we have patience," he said, referring to the deal nearly concluded last year through the German mediator.

The deal fell through when the parties failed to agree on the identity of the last 125 Palestinian prisoners to be released, with Israel refusing to set free prisoners who were responsible for major terror attacks.


Gilad Shalit: The march for freedom

By Nathan Jeffay, July 1, 2010

Gilad Shalit's father has begun a high-profile, 11-day march from his Galilee home to Jerusalem, prompting analysts to predict that Israel will soon resume negotiations with Hamas over the kidnapped soldier.