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Ackerman resolution calls for Shalit’s release

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A U.S. congressman introduced a resolution calling for the immediate release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House of Representatives subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, on Monday introduced Resolution 1359 calling for the immediate release of Shalit, who was captured by Hamas gunmen into Gaza during a cross-border raid in 2006.

"Hamas claims to be a religious organization, but their cruelty and inhumanity belies such claims," Ackerman, who is Jewish, said in a statement. "Gilad Shalit is a human being, not a bargaining chip. He should be returned immediately and unconditionally.

"The Red Cross has never been allowed to see Gilad Shalit, and he’s been compelled to appear in Hamas propaganda videos. This outrageous and deeply immoral conduct is absolutely contrary to both international humanitarian law and the most basic standards of human conduct."

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), the senior Republican member of the subcommittee, co-sponsored the resolution, which he said he hopes will be passed before the June 25 anniversary of Shalit’s abduction.

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