One year after captivity in Gaza, Israeli soldier alive

UPDATED: 19:37, June 25, 2007

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held in Gaza one year after his captivity, is alive and healthy, a spokesman for the captors said on Monday.

Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and the Army of Islam are still stick to their demands to exchange the soldier for a number of Palestinian prisoners, the PRC spokesman Abu Mujahed said.

The three groups kidnapped the Israeli corporal a year ago in a cross border raid on his military base just a few kilometers behind security fence between Israel and Gaza.

The factions "insist on their humanitarian demands of freeing female prisoners, children, patients, old, leaders of factions and those who face long sentences," Abu Mujahed reiterated.

He accused the Israeli government of blocking the progress on Shalit's case by not dealing seriously with the offers that the factions sent through Egyptian mediators.

The Israeli government "returned the progress to the zero point," said Abu Mujahed, asserting that the factions can keep the soldier for years.

Source: Xinhua


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