Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza: Gilad Shalit
There is one person certainly suffering from a humanitarian crisis in Gaza: Gilad Shalit. He has been held hostage by the terrorist group Hamas, in breach of every international law and human rights convention, for over 40,800 hours,, 1700 days,, 4.5 years; and denied so much as a visit by the Red Cross. Shalit, born in Israel in 1986, was kidnapped by eight Hamas terrorists in an unprovoked attack on June 25, 2006, when he and other Israeli Defence Soldiers were guarding a border crossing named “Kerem Shalom,” ironically translated as “Vineyard of Peace,” to enable trade between Israel and Gaza. Today of course there is very little trade with Gaza, with the exception of humanitarian supplies, out of fear that terrorists will abuse it to smuggle weapons.
During the attack, two Israeli soldiers, Lieutenant Hanan Barak and Sergeant Pavel Slutzker, both 20, were killed, and three others were seriously injured. At the time of Shalit’s abduction, he was 19 years old; this August he will turn 25.
Since that day, with the pitiful exception of one 3-minute video and three letters over a period of four and half years, Shalit has been denied any contact with the outside world: no Red Cross, no Geneva Convention rights, no letters or packages from family: Nothing. The details of his physical condition, and even his location, remain unknown.