UK Welcomes Gilad Shalit's Prisoner Exchange Deal
“I welcome the agreement between Israel and Hamas to release Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, next month as part of a prisoner exchange. Holding him in captivity has been utterly unjustified from the beginning and yet it has gone on for 5 long years," said Foreign Secretary William Hague.
The UK supports all such efforts to build confidence and trust between all parties, he said.
Shalit will be exchanged for 110 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. Shalit was abducted on June 25th, 2006 by by Hamas and held prisoner in Gaza. He holds dual Israeli-French nationalies.
He became a pawn in prisoner negotiations between Israel and Hamas, and a symbol of the ongoing and bitter war between the two sides. His family and other activists have campaigned ceaselessly to bring him back safely.
"Mr Shalit’s long captivity has been painful for his family and I hope that he will be reunited with them as soon as possible," said Hague.
Photo: Shalit depicted in graffitti published in Jerusalem Chronicle
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