The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
On the fifth anniversary of the captivity of Israeli Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit, the Secretary-General calls for his immediate release. He also joins the Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross in calling on Hamas to protect his life, treat him humanely, prove that he is alive and allow the Shalit family to have contact with their son. The Secretary-General calls on Hamas to comply with international humanitarian law, and commends a coalition of Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations for calling for his humane treatment.
The United Nations on the ground will continue to support the conclusion of negotiation efforts to secure his release, which would also entail the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners. The Secretary-General is convinced that this issue must now be resolved.