On Thursday evening, the family of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit received the most convincing sign of life yet from their son in the form of a 2 minute and 40 second video message, which was recorded on Monday 14 September 2009. To view the video, click here.
In exchange for the video, 20 Palestinian women were freed from an Israeli prison.
Gilad was abducted in a cross-border raid on 25 June 2006 and is being held by Hamas. Since that time, the only sign of life his family has received has been three letters and a very poorly recorded audio message.
Gilad’s mother, Aviva Shalit, said that she hoped that this would be “the beginning of the end of his captivity”. His father Noam acknowledged that “the tape is not the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is an important, vital step.” He also expressed concern that this was not a breakthrough and that this could be dragged out over years. He stated, “In spite of our impression that he [Gilad] is in relatively good condition, we cannot forget that he is suffering and rotting in Hamas prison nearly 1,200 long days and nights” (see more).
After carrying Gilad our hearts, minds and prayers over the last three years, watching the video on Israeli television literally made my heart ache. I cannot even begin to imagine how it felt for Gilad’s family and all those that know him personally.
We will continue to bring you updates as they become available. Click here for a selection of articles about the release of the video and the aftermath.
Israel Advocacy Analyst
Zionist Council of Victoria