Born August 28, 1986 (1986-08-28) (age 23)
Gilad Shalit (image courtesy of the Shalit family)
Place of birth Nahariya, Israel
Rank Staff Sergeant
Unit Armor Corps
Battles/wars Operation Summer Rains
Gilad Shalit (Hebrew: גלעד שליט, born 28 August 1986) is an Israeli soldier who was captured on 25 June 2006 by Palestinian militants in a cross border raid. He was abducted through the Kerem Shalom crossing (in Israel) and has been held as a prisoner in the Gaza Strip by Hamas since. Shalit, a soldier of the IDF's Armor Corps, held the rank of corporal at the time of the incident but has since been promoted to staff sergeant.
He became the first Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants since Nachshon Wachsman in 1994. Shalit holds French citizenship, a fact that encouraged France and the European Union to be involved to some extent in the efforts to release him. Recently, he also received Italian citizenship.
Hamas has refused requests from the Red Cross (ICRC) to allow visits by the ICRC. Several human rights organizations have stated that the terms and conditions of Shalit's detention are contrary to international humanitarian law. In exchange for his release, Hamas is demanding the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, including many convicted of deadly terrorist attacks against Israelis.
The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which released its report on September 2009, called for Shalit to be released.
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