Captured Soldier’s Family Argues Against Easing Gaza Blockade

Captured Soldier’s Family Argues Against Easing Gaza Blockade
# 23 June 2010 18:52 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. The parents of an Israeli soldier being held captive by the Palestinian militant group Hamas say they fear Israel’s easing of the three-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip will make it harder to negotiate their son’s release, APA reports quoting “The Voice of America”.
Gilad Schalit’s parents argued this week the blockade was an important tool to pressure Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
But Tuesday hundreds of trucks carrying food and other supplies that had previously been blocked rolled into the territory.
Israel eased the sanctions in response to international outrage triggered by its deadly commando raid on a flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza three weeks ago. The sea blockade will remain in force to prevent Hamas militants and supporters from smuggling weapons into Gaza.

Schalit was captured four years ago this Friday. His parents and thousands of supporters plan a days-long cross country march next week to push the government to do more for their son.

Schalit’s father says he will camp outside the prime minister’s residence after the march until his son is brought home.

Israel and some coutries consider Hamas a terrorist organization.

Two ships are currently planning to challenge the sea blockade. The aid ship Julia plans to leave for Gaza from Lebanon within days, despite warnings from Israel that it will not let ships dock in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory.

A second, all-female ship, Mariam, named after the Virgin Mary, also is planning to make the voyage to Gaza, transporting some 50 women activists, including four U.S. nuns, as well as cancer medication and other humanitarian aid.