A short while after the Palestinians reported that Israel's Gaza blockade will be eased, Noam Shalit said that finalizing a prisoner swap for his son would prompt the complete removal of the siege imposed on the Strip.
"This will allow for rebuilding the ruins in Gaza in wake of Operation Cast Lead and will free it from the political and economic chokehold," he said at the Amisrael organization's Jerusalem International Conference attended by parliamentarians and representatives from 21 Latin American states.
Shalit told attendants that for the past four years, his son had been held in complete isolation, and that Hamas refuses to let the Red Cross provide any information regarding his state of health.
"Holding him for the purpose of bargaining and political blackmail is a grave war crime based on the Rome Convention," Shalit said. "The only connection we had with him was three notes and a videotape."
'Hamas rejected deal'Shalit said that the German mediator in the case managed to formulate a deal that would see 1,000 prisoners released in exchange for his son.
"To my regret, ever since the completion of the deal, a large part of Hamas' leaders refused to accept it, and the German mediator continues his persuasion efforts," he said.
Shalit's father also made note of his request to the recent Gaza-bound flotilla, offering to exert pressure on the government to let the ships through in exchange for conveying a message to Gilad.
"We asked whether it would be possible to transfer something humanitarian to Gilad; a letter from his father, from his mother, or from his sister. Regrettably, the sail organizers refused, saying their interest is to break the blockade on Gaza."