JERUSALEM, Israel -- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) demanded on Thursday that Hamas provide proof that kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is alive.
Palestinian terrorists kidnapped Shalit in a cross-border attack on an IDF outpost near the Kerem Shalom crossing with the Gaza Strip on June 25, 2006. The Hamas-led terror cell killed two soldiers, wounded three and kidnapped Shalit, who has been held incommunicado ever since.
Until now the ICRC has taken a passive stance in standing up for his rights.
"The total absence of information concerning Mr. Shalit is completely unacceptable," ICRC Director-General Yves Daccord said in a statement.
In 2009, Hamas released a videotape of Shalit in which he pleaded for his life. The group also released cartoons of the captured soldier, mocking him and his family.
"Because there has been no sign of life from Mr. Shalit for almost two years, the ICRC is now demanding that Hamas prove that he is alive," the statement read.
"Hamas has an obligation under international humanitarian law to protect Mr. Shalit's life, to treat him humanely and to let him have contact with his family," Daccord said.
Since his abduction, Shalit's parents, Noam and Aviva Shalit, have enlisted the help of many Israeli and international officials to secure their son's release.
Egyptian and German mediators have attempted to negotiate a prisoner swap with Hamas officials, who have demanded up to 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, now 24.
Numbers of the prisoners on the Hamas list have participated in massive terror attacks in which scores of Israelis were killed.