Statement by J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami on the Fifth Anniversary of Gilad Shalit’s Captivity

June 25, 2011

It is impossible to imagine the pain that the Shalit family has experienced over the past five years since Gilad was kidnapped by Hamas, and has been held captive without any contact with the outside world, including the Red Cross.  Every family in Israel and in the Jewish world extends its heart and prayers to Gilad and to his family on today’s anniversary of his capture. We have met on several occasions with Noam Shalit, Gilad’s father, and have promised to do all we can to press for his release.  We have raised the issue with American government officials, and we have also raised the matter directly with Palestinian Authority leaders. We call on those who hold Gilad Shalit to release him immediately and for full international pressure to be brought to bear to achieve this important humanitarian goal.