Sarkozy vows to help free Israeli-French soldier

20th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Israeli-French soldier Gilad Shalit was seized by Gaza militants, including the Islamist Hamas, in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

JERUSALEM –  French President Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged to pursue efforts to secure the release of captured Israeli-French soldier Gilad Shalit, in a letter on Thursday to his parents.

"France demands the release of Gilad and will pursue relentlessly its persuasive efforts among all who speak, or can speak, to the kidnappers of your son," Sarkozy said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

"Allow me to express anew my solidarity in the face of this ordeal, as well as my admiration for... your dignity," Sarkozy added.

Shalit, who marks 1,000 days in captivity on Saturday, was seized by Gaza militants, including the Islamist Hamas, in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

His family has held vigil in a tent pitched outside the Jerusalem home of outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to press for his release since 8 March.

On Tuesday the outgoing cabinet rejected a final offer from Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, for a long-mooted prisoner exchange that would involve Shalit.

AFP / Expatica

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