The International Red Cross has demanded, in a statement on Thursday, that Hamas authorities prove that captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is still alive. The ICRC has demanded that Hamas prove that captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is still alive given a two year absence of proof regarding his continued health.

ICRC Director-General, Yves Daccord, said in the statement that ‘the total absence of information concerning Mr Shalit is completely unacceptable’ and reminded Hamas that ‘the Shalit family have the right under international humanitarian law to be in contact with their son’.

Shalit was captured in a cross border raid by Palestinian groups, including Hamas, in 2006.

The ICRC has argued consistently for Shalit to be allowed communicate with his family as well as demending access to the soldier without success.

Hamas argue that any such access offered to the Red Cross would endanger the secrecy of Shalit’s whereabouts and risk an Israeli raid to recover him. They have demanded the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit.

Gilad Shalit is the only Israeli captive of the Palestinian Israeli conflict. Israel currently holds in its jails 6-7,000 Palestinian prisoners, many of them under adminsitrative arrest without charge.