Noam Shalit speaks to Arab media

Kidnapped soldier's father: Islamic sources on captives "reassured me."

Noam Shalit, father of kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, at a press conference with Arab media that he called on Tuesday, cited Islamic sources in an appeal to his son's kidnappers to treat him well. "Concern for my son brought me to investigate the Islamic sources on the subject of captives. What I read reassured me. I understood that this is a religion that relates to captives in a good and equal way," he said. Still, Shalit said that "treating a captive well also includes giving information to the family about his condition after 80 days of captivity." Shalit also appealed to the Palestinian suffering that, he said, Israeli military activities were causing. "Ending the affair could lead also to the removal of the blockade and the military activity in the Gaza Strip, and it would allow hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to celebrate the month of Ramadan in peace and quiet without the military pressure and the activities that Israel has adopted," he said. Last week, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal denied reports that contacts were underway for Gilad Shalit's release, maintaining his position that the soldier would only be freed as part of a prisoner swap deal. When asked about a military court decision to release arrested Hamas lawmakers on bail, Shalit answered that no one had updated him on the court's decision. "I am not aware, am not familiar with the issue. Maybe it is somehow connected with Gilad's release," he said. Shalit added that he was aware of ongoing contacts regarding his son's release, but did not know of a finalized deal. Since Gilad's kidnapping in June, Noam Shalit has urged the Israeli government to take whatever steps are necessary to free his son.