schalit red cross rally nyc 248.
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Some 1,000 students demonstrated outside the New York headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday, urging the humanitarian group to visit kidnapped IDF soldier St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit.
Wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan, "Meet with Schalit," they filled a city block, waving Israeli flags and chanting variations of one message: The Red Cross needs to step up its efforts to visit and correspond with Schalit, who was abducted outside the Gaza Strip nearly three years ago.
"We think it's unconscionable that after three years of captivity, he's never been visited by the International Red Cross," said Richard Altabe, the principal of Magen David Yeshiva and an organizer of the event.
He stressed that the rally was not political.
"They [the Red Cross] haven't even met with [Gilad's father] Noam Schalit," he said.
Palestinian authorities and Hamas have prevented the Red Cross from visiting and from carrying letters between Schalit and his family, said Dominique Buff, the head of the ICRC's delegation to the United Nations.
"We deeply deplore that Hamas has denied access to our delegates," Buff said. "We don't have two sides on this issue. We are working on the same track."