French President Nicolas Sarkozy says Israel’s use of force against Palestinians would not help secure the release of captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
In a letter to the Shalit family on Friday, President Sarkozy wrote that Israel’s three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip had not greased the wheels for Shalit’s release, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
The now 23-year-old Shalit was captured by Palestinians in a cross-border operation in June 2006.
"It is wrong to believe that creating a state of deprivation for the [Palestinian] population will bring his release," the French president explained.
In a prisoner swap deal in 2009, Tel Aviv had agreed to release 450 Palestinian prisoners demanded by the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas. However, Israeli officials later reneged on the deal.
Hamas insists that Shalit will not be freed unless Israel lives up to the original deal.
Around 7,000 Palestinians, including women and children, are held in Israeli detention facilities, reportedly suffering from harsh and life-threatening conditions.
Human rights groups have complained several times that the conditions in which the Palestinian inmates are kept are in contravention of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners.