there was no armed conflict going on. you can of course start armed conflicts anytime anywhere by crossing borders & abducting soldiers of a neighbouring country. you wouldn't see an abduction even if it happened in front of you. shalit was a soldier on duty close to gaza border. hamas crossed the line & snatched him (actually attacked as they killed his two fellow soldiers). that's all there is to it. & they aren't treating him as a POW either. he's an innocent pawn being used in the most cynical way.
Palestinian man suffers light wounds from rocks thrown by Jewish men in Jerusalem (Haaretz)
from the article: Carter: Hamas agrees to deliver new Gilad Shalit letter