Israeli officials say the family of an Israeli soldier abducted by militants in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have received a hand-written letter from him. Gilad Shalit was 19 when he was captured in June 2006 by Palestinian gunmen who tunnelled into Israel from Gaza.
There has been no contact from him apart from a letter in September 2006 and an audio recording released by Hamas last June. A senior Hamas official said the letter was released as a gesture to former US President Jimmy Carter who met the group’s leaders during a trip to the region in April.
Shalit’s family was not available for comment. Hamas has said it will not release the soldier unless Israel meets its demand to free 1400 Palestinian prisoners, including 350 serving life sentences.