Timeline: Five years in Hamas captivity

A look back at the events surrounding kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit since his capture on June 25,2006.

Gilad Schalit 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Gilad Schalit 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
June 25, 2006: Terrorists from Gaza launch an unprovoked cross-border raid into Israel, using an underground tunnel to infiltrate the border near the Kerem Hashalom border crossing. The terror cell attacks a tank containing Schalit and his fellow crew members.
Two members of the crew are killed, and five more are injured. The gunmen seize Schalit from the tank and drag him across the border into Gaza before IDF reinforcements can respond.
Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees claim responsibility for the abduction and demand that Israel releases prisoners in exchange for Schalit's return. The IDF launches a limited offensive in Gaza in response.
July 9, 2006: The-then Public Security Minister Avi Dichter becomes the first Israeli official to signal Israel's willingness to enter negotiations with Hamas through a mediator to secure Schalit's release.
His comments provoke severe criticisms from others in the government.
September 1, 2006: Hamas lists its first demands for Schalit's release, telling Egyptian mediators that 1,000 Palestinian prisoners would have to be released by Israel in exchange for Schalit.
January 2, 2007: Israel under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expresses willingness to release 'large numbers of prisoners' for Schalit. but says Hamas's demands for 1,500 prisoners is exaggerated.
June 25, 2007: In first sign of life, Hamas release audio recording of Schalit in which the captive soldier is heard saying that his health is deteriorating. The content of Schalit's comments is widely considered to be dictated by his Hamas captors.
February 18, 2008: In of many false starts, reports and rumors swirl of impending Schalit deal.
June 23, 2008: French President Nicolas Sarkozy asks Hamas to end Schalit's captivity. Sarkozy's request is made on the basis of Schalit's dual French Israeli nationality.
September 30, 2009: Three years after kidnapping the soldier and refusing any international access to him, Hamas releases a video tape of Schalit. He appears to be in good physical condition. Israel releases 19 female terrorists in exchange for the video.
March 8, 2009: Schalit's parents, Noam and Aviva, move into a protest tent set up outside of the prime minister's home. The tent becomes a focal point for a national grassroots movement that calls for Schalit's return. Car stickers and flags calling for Schalit's release become commonplace around the country.
April 27, 2010: In attempt to keep pressure up on Israel, Hamas releases animated cartoon showing Schalit returning to Israel in a coffin.
June 26, 2011: On fifth anniversary of Schalit's abduction, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blasts Hamas as "a brutal enemy... which refuses to uphold either the minimal demands of the international treaties or humanitarian conditions. It has refused to allow him even one visit by the International Committee of the Red Cross."
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