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Anniversary of Israeli soldier's capture sparks demands

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Anniversary of Israeli soldier's capture sparks demands


It is five years since Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was seized by an armed Palestinian group including Hamas. It is an anniversary which is being marked in Israel.

The 25-year-old is being held at a secret location in Gaza and has not been permitted visits by the Red Cross. They are demanding proof he is still alive. It is almost two years since a video was released showing him alive. His mother, Aviva Shalit says the memories of her son’s capture are still fresh.

“From our perspective its another day without Gilad. Five years is a round number but its like yesterday and the day before, that’s how we feel,” she explained.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out a prisoner exchange deal and in a bid to increase pressure on Hamas he said Palestinian militants in Israeli prisons would face tougher conditions.

The fate of Palestinian prisoners is also an emotional issue. In Gaza and the West Bank they are seen as heroes. In Israel a poll this week showed support for a deal was growing 63% favoured an exchange, while only 19% were opposed.

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