Thousands sign Shalit petition

By Jennifer Lipman, July 23, 2010
FZY members at a vigil for Gilad Shalit

FZY members at a vigil for Gilad Shalit

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.

More than 5,800 people have added their name to the document. It notes that in the four years since the Israeli soldier was kidnapped in Gaza, Hamas militants have repeatedly refused to allow visits from the Red Cross, adequate medical care and contact with the outside world.

The petition says these are “serious violations of his human rights under International Law.

“The inhumane prison conditions imposed on Shalit are criminal, immoral and unjust.”

It urges the British government “to do all in their power and use all avenues possible to secure the basic human rights and freedom of Corporal Shalit”.

Mr Scott, who is Jewish and has represented Ilford North since 2005, is a senior aide to cabinet minister Philip Hammond. He called the Israeli soldier’s incarceration “unjust" and said: "We must do all we can to ensure his release.”

Gilad Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid in June 2006. Hamas has so far refused offers of any kind of prisoner exchange.

See pictures from the Gilad Shalit vigil in Westminster here

Last updated: 1:05pm, October 20 2010