On June 25, 2006, Corporal Gilad Shalit (later promoted to Staff Sergeant) was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists within Israeli territory, near the Kerem Shalom crossing. The kidnapping was part of an unprovoked and well-planned attack which involved seven terrorists, armed with explosive charges, anti-tank missiles, light arms and more, and which made use of a tunnel under the Israel-Gaza border. During the course of the attack, an IDF soldier, Staff Sergeant Pavel Slutzker, and an officer, Lieutenant Hanan Barak, were killed, while five other were wounded.
On Friday, October 2, 2009, Israel received a videotape of Gilad Shalit speaking:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Friday, 2 October 2009) in his Jerusalem office viewed the footage of Gilad Shalit and spoke by telephone with Noam Shalit, Gilad’s father. The Prime Minister believes that the footage is important because it verifies Gilad Shalit’s situation and determines taht Hamas is absolutely responsible for his health and well-being. PM Netanyahu wished the Shalit family a happy Sukkot and said that even though the path to Gilad’s release is still long and arduous, the knowledge that he is well and in good health encourages us all.