Tuesday, 10 March at 8:30pm on SBS
‘Cutting Edge’ returns to SBS on Tuesday, 10 March at 8:30pm with the compelling documentary
‘Captive in Gaza’.
On June 25, 2006 a group of Palestinian militants in Gaza crawled out of a tunnel and attacked an IDF tank. Two Israeli soldiers were killed and Gilad Shalit was captured and taken to Gaza. The Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert refused to negotiate with captors for his release and pursued aggressive retaliations.
This documentary picks up two years later, where Gilad still remains in captivity and examines the events which followed after his capture. Over 600 Palestinians were killed in a large scale retaliatory operation in the first three months after he was taken prisoner.
“The PM said no negotiations would be made for his release. He made statements about what he would not do instead of working for a fast release…He was captured during military service and it is a state obligation to bring him back” (Gilad’s mother, Aviva Shilat)
More than 11,000 Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli jails and thousands of families in Gaza saw this as an opportunity to free their relatives. The kidnapping evoked a widespread public movement and quickly turned from a humanitarian to a political issue.
“It’s terrible to sit at home while he’s there, held by them wounded and you can not reach out to them at all. There’s nothing you can do. Your life changes in a second.” (Aviva Shilat)
Among the events covered, the government ignores a proposal from Hamas to exchange five prominent prisoners of the Palestine leadership in exchange for Gilad.
Gaza is completely cut off from Israeli journalists. His captors, who are members of the group Azadin El Qasam, provide a rare comment about his confinement.
‘The soldiers won’t see the light of day and won’t be returned to his parents until our prisoners are released from occupation prisons. We are prepared to hold this soldier for years.’ (Captor. anonymous)
The documentary shows testimonies from negotiators, politicians, and terror experts who reveal the series of mistakes and missed opportunities from both the Israeli and Palestinian sides.