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Remembering Shalit's birthday

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-08-22

Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit

With his 21st birthday coming up, kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is being remembered in a birthday message from the Board of Deputies.

Shalit, who was born on August 28, was kidnapped by Hamas in southern Israel on June 25 2006 and is said to be in captivity in Gaza.

"It must be a terrifying and lonely experience to spend a second successive birthday in captivity, without any contact with family and friends," said Board of Deputies chief executive Jon Benjamin. "But Gilad and his family are in all our thoughts and prayers, particularly on his birthday."

Shalit, who is a cousin of music impresario Jonathan Shalit, is currently one of three Israeli soldiers being held.  Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were captured by Hezbollah in northern Israel on July 16 2006.

Benjamin added: "Our birthday wish for him, is the hope that the coming year brings release from his terrible ordeal, a swift reunion with all who yearn for his return and that his 22nd birthday will be celebrated in freedom."