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Public Statements

Calling for Release of Israeli Soldier by Hamas

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GRAYSON. Madam Speaker, I rise today to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. On June 25, 2006, exactly 4 years ago this Friday, Gilad was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists within Israeli territory, near the Karem Shalom crossing. This kidnapping was a part of an unprovoked and organized military operation by Hamas terrorists who continue to hold Gilad captive in Gaza.

Throughout Gilad's captivity, the International Red Cross has requested to send representatives to assess his conditions of detention and treatment, as well as to provide medical attention to Gilad. Just recently, Hamas once again refused to give the Red Cross access to check on Gilad's well being in accordance with international law. Pierre Dorbes, deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel and the Territories stated that, `` ..... we have been able to visit nearly everyone detained in connection to this conflict, with the exception of Gilad Shalit.''

As negotiations for his release continue, it is important to recognize the efforts of Gilad Shalit's family and friends, particularly his mother Aviva and his father Noam to secure his release. I can only imagine the heartache and frustration that they feel as they work to help secure their son's freedom.

Madam Speaker, I along with my colleagues continue to call for the unconditional release of Gilad Shalit. I urge President Obama to continue to make Gilad's release a priority for his administration as he works with all parties to resolve the ongoing conflict in the region.

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