Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit ( גלעד שליט, born 28 August 1986) is an Israeli sports columnist and former soldier. As an Israeli citizen, he served as a soldier of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was abducted inside Israel by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid via underground tunnels near the Israeli border with Gaza on 25 June 2006. The Hamas militants held him for over five years, until his release on 18 October 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal.

During his captivity, Hamas turned down requests from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to be allowed to visit Shalit claiming that any such visit could betray Shalit's location. However, multiple human rights organizations criticize this stance, claiming that the conditions of Shalit's confinement were contrary to international humanitarian law. The Red Cross insisted, “The Shalit family have the right under international humanitarian law to be in contact with their son”. The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict called for Shalit's release in its September 2009 report. In its 27 May 2011 Deauville Declaration, the G8 demanded Shalit's release. Shalit's capture has been deemed a kidnapping and abduction by many sources. He was not granted any visits from the Red Cross and was not allowed to communicate with family members (to which he is entitled as a captured soldier under the Geneva Conventions), and a ransom, even if not of a monetary nature, was demanded for his return. The only contact between Shalit and the outside world after his capture and before his release were three letters, an audio tape, and a DVD that Israel received in return for releasing 20 female Palestinian prisoners.

Shalit was abducted near the Kerem Shalom crossing in Israel, and held by Hamas as a hostage at an unknown location in the Gaza Strip. On 18 October 2011, he was released in a deal that secured his freedom after more than five years in isolation and captivity, in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, including some convicted of multiple murders and carrying out terror attacks against Israeli civilians (according to Israeli government sources, the prisoners released were collectively responsible for 569 Israeli deaths). Hamas' previous demands of releasing of all female and underage Palestinians as well as Marwan Barghouti were not met.

Shalit was the first Israeli soldier abducted by Palestinian militants since Nachshon Wachsman in 1994. Shalit, having a rank of Corporal in the IDF's Armor Corps at the time of his abduction, was promoted to Staff Sergeant, Sergeant First Class, and then Sergeant Major on the eve of his release.

Read more about Gilad Shalit:  Personal Life, Abduction, Rescue Attempt, Diplomatic Efforts, Israeli Society Perceptions and Activities, Captivity, Location, International Law, Life After Release and Rehabilitation Process

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Palestinian Prisoners In Israel - Prisoner Exchanges and Releases
... the Israeli government released 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held hostage by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip ... Gilad Shalit was also the first captured Israeli soldier to be released alive in 26 years ... alleged that dozens of the released Palestinian prisoners in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange had resumed terrorist activity ...
2008 Israel–Hamas Ceasefire - Ceasefire Issues - Gilad Shalit
... Hamas' armed wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, captured Israeli Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit in June 2006 and had held him as a hostage ever since, connecting his release to the Israel release of ... was not mentioned in the initial cease-fire itself, which led Shalit's father and grandfather to attack the Israeli government ... found “a certain sense of progress” on Shalit's release ...
Ahmed Jabari - Hamas
... Jabari was in charge of overseeing the imprisonment of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was kidnapped by Palestinian militants in 2006 outside of the Gaza Strip two other soldiers were ... a prisoners-exchange was arranged handing back Shalit to Israel in return for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in October 2011, Jabari personally escorted Shalit to the ... to Gershon Baskin, who helped mediate with Hamas for Gilad Shalit's release but did not speak to Jabari directly, Jabari had come to understand that ...
Timeline Of The 2007–2008 Israel–Gaza Conflict - History - Eruption of Conflict
... response to the Palestinian militants abduction of Corporal Gilad Shalit ... to suppress Qassam rocket fire against its civilian population and to secure the release of Gilad Shalit ... had said it would withdraw from the Strip and end the operation as soon as Shalit was released ...
Gilad Shalit - Honorary Citizenships - Pittsburgh, PA, US
... The city of Pittsburgh made Shalit an honorary citizen on 30 August 2011, in honor of his twenty fifth birthday ...