Today Israel is marking three years since one of it's soldiers was kidnapped.
Since the attack at Kerem Shalom on Sunday, June 25, 2006, Corporal Gilad Shalit (now promoted to Staff Sergeant) has been held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.
The father of Gilad has been an international campaigner for his son's release. Today he is urging every Israeli citizen to close their eyes for three minutes to remember his son. The elder brother of Gilad, who rarely speaks publicly on his brothers situation, has also spoken out directly at Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling him that it is his duty to return him (Gilad) home.
For his part Mr. Netanyahu has said that he is obligated to bring Gilad back alive, and that Israel is ready to resume Egyptian-mediated negotiations on his release. During his stay in Rome earlier this week, Netanyahu was asked about the abductions anniversary and he replied that Israel would make combined effort for Gilad's release.
But on this day, there appears still little to no progress on his release, but plenty of condemnation against various Israeli entities.
One headline bluntly asserts that the IDF was warned of Hamas's planned attempts to kidnap it's soldiers the day before Gilad was abducted. Specifics of an intelligence warning appeared in debriefings that were done by the commanding authority but apparently went unheeded.
Others have called again for an inquiry as to why there was no attempt to rescue the soldier.
There was also an interesting development that Israel denies, the idea that Gilad was going to be transferred to Egyptian custody. Egypt has said that it has a sign of life with information on Gilad's health that it received recently. There has been no update on his health or well being in over a year. Now reported in Cairo: Information on his health.
Hamas, and the Palestinians have said that there has been progress in contacts about his release. But Israel has said repeatedly that such reports are baseless.
Hamas is worried that if they let Gilad go without their requested 1000 Palestinian prisoners that they will loose credibility and would be seen as week or even surrendering on the issue.
Middle East Correspondent