Red Cross calls for sign of life from Shalit


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas must provide proof that captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is alive, the International Committee of the Red Cross has demanded.

"The total absence of information concerning Mr. Shalit is completely unacceptable," Red Cross Director-General Yves Daccord said in a statement released Thursday. "The Shalit family have the right under international humanitarian law to be in contact with their son."

Friday will mark five years since Shalit was captured by Hamas during a cross-border raid. He is believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.

The Red Cross has called on Hamas repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, to allow Shalit to have contact with his family. Hamas also has not allowed the Red Cross to have access to Shalit.

It has been nearly two years since Hamas has released any proof that Shalit is alive. In October 2009, Hamas released a one-minute videotape of Shalit in exchange for the release of 20 female Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails.

Hamas has demanded the release of 1,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, including some directly responsible for the deaths of Israelis, in order to effect Shalit’s release.

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