Meeting EU Foreign Policy Chief, Shalits Highlight Gilad's Plight

The parents of captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit met on Monday with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The parents of Gilad Shalit met yesterday with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to highlight the dire conditions in which their son has been held captive in Gaza for over four years.

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger with Noam Shalit .
Tomer Appelbaum

Noam Shalit, the soldier's father, told the minister that Hamas prisoners are incarcerated under conditions the likes of which his son is denied, having been refused a single visit from a Red Cross representative during his captivity.

Shalit said he is unaware of reports of renewed negotiations on a prisoner swap, saying in his view both Israel and Hamas seem unwilling to budge.

In their meeting with Ashton yesterday at Jerusalem's King David Hotel, Shalit and his wife Aviva cited the European Parliament's March resolution calling for their son's immediate release and for him to enjoy all conditions accorded to prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.

Noam Shalit asked the EU foreign policy chief to promise that Brussels use every means at its disposal to work for Shalit's release. Ashton said she raises Shalit's plight at every possible opportunity, while in the same breath calling for the removal of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.