Happy Birthday, Gilad!

Gilad Schalit turned 24 years old today.

He is the son of Aviva and Noam Schalit from Mitzpe Hilla in the Western Galilee and the brother of Yoel and Hadas.

On Sunday, June 25, 2006, at 5:40 in the morning, a terrorist group of several Palestinians crossed the border south of the Gaza Strip into Israel through a tunnel near Kerem Shalom and attacked an army facility that was within the sovereign territory of Israel.

The force numbered 8-armed Palestinians. It penetrated about a hundred meters into Israeli territory and split into three groups. The first group shot at an armored car that stood there. It was empty so no one was hurt. The second group attacked an IDF post manned by soldiers of the Desert Patrol. This attack included explosives and gunfire from light weapons which wounded three Israeli soldiers. At the same time at least one rocket was fired and grenades were thrown at a tank positioned in the area. The tank was manned by four soldiers one of whom was Gilad Schalit. The missile hit the rear end of the tank causing the death of its commander and an additional soldier.

One soldier was wounded. Gilad Schalit, the fourth soldier in the tank, was wounded in the shoulder and was abducted from the tank and taken by the terrorists to the Gaza strip.

Gilad’s abductors were members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Palestinian governing party Hamas), the Popular Resistance Committees (which includes members of Fatah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas), and the Army of Islam.

To date, attempts by the international Red Cross to communicate with Shalit have been thwarted, but there’s hope, among those organizing the Free Gilad Schalit Campaign, that their efforts will help facilitate communication with Gilad and lead to his release.

Here’s contact information for those wishing to express support:

In the U.S., mail cards to: Gilad Shalit c/o Conference of Presidents 633 Third Ave 21st Flr New York, NY 10017
In Israel, mail cards to: Gilad Shalit By Magen David Adom in Israel Post Office Box 101101 Tel Aviv 61950

For more info or to send electronic greeting go to www.giladgreetings.org.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkEN9cGc-QE]

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