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StandWithUs Rejoices Over Freedom for Gilad Shalit
STANDWITHUS REJOICES OVER FREEDOM FOR GILAD SHALIT



StandWithUs rejoices over the upcoming release of Gilad Shalit, who has been held in captivity for over five years. Hamas, the terrorist group that now governs Gaza, violated all civilized standards by abducting him from Israeli territory and holding him incommunicado. Hamas would not even allow the International Red Cross to see Gilad and evaluate his health.

Israel values life and is irrevocably committed to protecting its citizens and the soldiers in its citizens' army. Israel therefore painfully agreed to release a thousand Palestinian prisoners convicted of crimes in exchange for Gilad's freedom.

Gilad has been in the hearts and minds of every Israeli and of millions of people of all faiths and backgrounds around the world. Only 19 years old when he was captured, Gilad became a symbol of youth cut off from life by Hamas' ruthlessness and injustice. Each of Gilad's birthdays was observed by Israelis and people everywhere. On his 25th birthday last August, StandWithUs released two videos that expressed the profound hope that Gilad could soon come home.

StandWithUs hopes that someday soon there will also be positive news about six other Israeli soldiers still listed as missing in action--Zecharya Baumel, Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Ron Arad, Guy Hever, and Majdy Halabi.

StandWithUs wishes that someday, Palestinian children will also be freed from the oppressive rule of Hamas, which has doomed them to learn hatred instead of hope, war instead of peace. May Gilad be a symbol for them, too, and for people throughout the world who long for freedom.
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