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Captured Israeli soldier says he needs medical aid in audiotape

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An Israeli soldier captured by Islamists a year ago said in an audiotape played on Palestinian television Monday that he needed medical aid and urged Israeli authorities to free Palestinian prisoners to secure his release.
GAZA, June 25 (RIA Novosti) - An Israeli soldier captured by Islamists a year ago said in an audiotape played on Palestinian television Monday that he needed medical aid and urged Israeli authorities to free Palestinian prisoners to secure his release.

"I am Gilad Shalit. I am not feeling very well and I need to be treated in a hospital. I regret that the Israeli government has been paying so little attention to my problem, failing to meet the demands of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigade," he said speaking in Hebrew.

Shalit, 20, was seized last June to be exchanged for Palestinians in Israeli prisons. Hamas's militant wing was one of three groups to have claimed responsibility for the abduction.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is demanding that Israel release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including high-ranking activists of Palestinian groups serving terms for terrorism.

"Just like I have a mother and father, thousands of Palestinian prisoners have mothers and fathers and they must return to them," Shalit said.

Following the kidnapping, Israel sent troops into the Gaza Strip to secure Shalit's release in operations that killed 500 Palestinians.

Egypt later brokered talks between the abductors and Israeli authorities, which have been suspended in recent months amid internal fighting in Gaza, now controlled by Hamas after it ousted the more moderate group Fatah.

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