Gilad Shalit is a shy young man who excels in math and science and helps his parents run a Bed & Breakfast in the Galilee. But this ordinary teenager was placed in extraordinary circumstances when he was abducted by the terrorist organization Hamas at 5:40 in the morning of June 25, 2006. The terrorists had tunneled from the Gaza Strip into Israeli sovereign territory, killing two IDF soldiers and kidnapping Corporal Shalit near Kerem Shalom. Shalit is the first Israeli soldier to be abducted since Nachson Wachsman in 1994. He is currently being held in the southern Gaza Strip. Shalit celebrated his 21th birthday on August 28, 2009 in the custody of terrorists instead of at home where he belongs.
On June 26, the day following the abduction, and July 1, Hamas issued demands that Israel release Palestinian prisoners in exchange for information about Shalit. On July 3, they issued a 24-hour ultimatum for meeting these demands, which Israel rejected with the statement, “There will be no negotiations to release prisoners.” Israeli forces conducted an unsuccessful search for Shalit on June 28.
Our thoughts are with his mother Aviva, father Noam, older brother Yoel, and younger sister Hadas.