Noam Shalit: Gilad Is Holding the Entire Gaza Strip Hostage

Shalit tells Palestinian paper his son is holding Gazans hostage, as his captivity keeps them under siege.

Jack Khoury
Haaretz Correspondent
Jack Khoury
Haaretz Correspondent

The father of kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, held by Hamas in Gaza, said his son is holding hostage the entire Gaza Strip and the Palestinian prisoners in Israel, and not the other way around.

Noam Shalit's made the comments in an article he wrote which appeared in the East Jerusalem-based newspaper al-Quds newspaper on Tuesday. In the article, Shalit claims that his son's captivity is responsible for the "siege" of the Gaza Strip and the "unbearable suffering" of the civilian population there.

"For 25 months now, Hamas has held Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in captivity in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is allegedly holding Gilad hostage so that Israel releases Palestinian prisoners," wrote Shalit.

He added: "In reality it has become clear that Gilad Shalit is holding hundreds of thousands of Palestinan prisoners hostage in addition to holding hundreds of thousands of Gazan citizens under siege, living in unbearable poverty and suffering for over two years."

Shalit blamed the humanitarian situation in Gaza on hesitation on the part of Hamas and Israel to broker a deal, saying "there is no agreement between Israel and Hamas over a prisoner swap deal, and not only because Israel refuses to release prisoners with blood on their hands, specifically those who are likely to return to murderous terrorism, but also because of the fact that Hamas has no single address capable of making decisions [unlike Hezbollah]."

Gilad Shalit was serving in an Armored Corps unit next to the border with the Gaza Strip when he was in a cross-border raid by Hamas gunmen in late June 2006.

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