Red Cross presses Hamas on Shalit

The Red Cross stepped up its efforts to win access to the Israeli soldier held captive in the Gaza Strip.

International Committee of the Red Cross director-general Angelo Gnaedinger discussed the case of Sgt. Gilad Shalit on Wednesday with Ismail Haniyeh, who heads the Hamas administration in Gaza.

Hamas has refused several Red Cross appeals to see Shalit, citing fears that Israel could use such visits to gather intelligence on his location and mount a rescue.

But Gnaedinger, the most senior Red Cross official to pursue the issue in person, said the Swiss-based humanitarian agency would not give up on securing the right to vouch for the well-being of the
soldier. Shalit, now 21, was abducted by Palestinian gunmen in a June 25, 2006 border raid and since then has been held in isolation.

“We will leave no stone unturned,” Gnaedinger told reporters after meeting Haniyeh. “We will keep pressing to see him.”

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