Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini on Thursday promised the father of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit that Rome "fully" support efforts to see his son released, exactly four years after he was captured by Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip.
Frattini told Noam Shalit, who was visiting Rome, that the condition of his son's captivity breached “all international rules and shows the terrorist nature of Hamas”, adding: "EU countries cannot consider [Hamas] as a political interlocutor."
Meanwhile, the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch said Friday that Hamas was violating the rules of war by prohibiting Shalit from having contact with his family and the Red Cross.
Treatment of the 23-year-old soldier is "cruel and inhuman," the group said in its report, adding that it matches a United Nations definition of torture because he has been denied any outside contact.
senior Hamas official said Friday that talks for the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit have been frozen for six months, telling Israel Radio that the German mediator negotiating the prisoner swap talks would return to his task only once new proposal have been made.
Mahmoud A-Zahar also said he had no information about Shalit's condition or whereabouts, Zahar said Hamas had rejected Israel's last proposal six months ago because of what he deemed Jerusalem's intention to rescind from its commitments and empty the deal of all content – referring to Israel's refusal to release certain and its insistence that Hamas militants not be permitted to return to the West Bank.
Shalit's parents will begin a march to Jerusalem on Sunday where they will stage a protest outside of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's resident, a quest they say will end only with Gilad's return.
"We've said we would not allow another year to pass without Gilad, and that is what we intend to do this time. We won't go home without Gilad."
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now