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Gilad Shalit is an Israeli sports columnist and former soldier. As an Israeli citizen, he served as a soldier of the Israel Defense Forces and was abducted inside Israel by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid via underground tunnels near the Israeli border with Gaza on 25 June 2006. The Hamas militants held him for over five years, until his release on 18 October 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal. During his captivity, Hamas turned down requests from the International Committee of the Red Cross to be allowed to visit Shalit claiming that any such visit could betray Shalit's location. However, multiple human rights organizations criticize this stance, claiming that the conditions of Shalit's confinement were contrary to international humanitarian law. The Red Cross insisted, “The Shalit family have the right under international humanitarian law to be in contact with their son”. The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict called for Shalit's release in its September 2009 report. In its 27 May 2011 Deauville Declaration, the G8 demanded Shalit's release. Shalit's capture has been deemed a kidnapping and abduction by many sources. He was not granted any visits from the Red Cross and was not allowed to communicate with family members, and a ransom, even if not of a monetary nature, was demanded for his return. The only contact between Shalit and the outside world after his capture and before his release were three letters, an audio tape, and a DVD that Israel received in return for releasing 20 female Palestinian prisoners. (via Freebase)