Gilad Shalit's Family: Red Cross Has Been a Complete Failure

Father of abducted IDF soldier demands that the aid agency be more resolute against Hamas, after the Gaza rulers quickly dismissed Red Cross' call to provide proof that Shalit is still alive.

Revital Hovel
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Revital Hovel

The family of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit denounced Thursday the way the International Red Cross has been handling Shalit's captivity, and demanded that the aid agency be more resolute against Hamas.

"We demand that the Red Cross' approach be more active and decisive," Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, said after Hamas on Thursday dismissed the agency's call that they provide proof that Shalit is still alive.

Noam Shalit in the family’s protest tent in Jerusalem on February 19, 2011, which marked his son Gilad’s 1,700th day of captivity.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

"I would like to believe that they would give us a sign of life from Gilad. We are conducting ongoing dialogue with the Red Cross but it has not been much help, I did not hear them condemn Hamas on its crime against Gilad. The Red Cross has been a complete failure in this affair."

Earlier Thursday, the International Red Cross urged Hamas to provide proof that Shalit is still alive, a request which the Islamist group quickly dismissed.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters in Gaza "The Red Cross should not get involved in Israeli security games aimed at reaching Shalit. It should take a stand that results in ending the suffering of Palestinian prisoners."

Senior ICRC officials say their message was transmitted privately to the militant Islamist group in the Strip several weeks ago.

In an unusual public appeal earlier on Thursday, the independent aid agency said Shalit's family had a right under international humanitarian law to be in contact with their 24-year-old son, held incommunicado since his capture on June 25, 2006.

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