Israel marks Shalit's kidnapping by Palestinian terrorists

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JERUSALEM, Israel – It has been three years since Palestinian terrorists kidnapped Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 22, in a seize by Palestinian terrorists at a border crossing who tunneled into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Two soldiers were killed, three wounded and Shalit was dragged into Gaza through the tunnel.

On the anniversary of the abduction, June 25, Gilad's father, Noam, called on Israelis to close their eyes for three minutes to remember his son.

In exchange for his freedom, Hamas had demanded the release of more than 400 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, including senior militants who have been involved in deadly attacks on Israeli civilians.

Media reports had been circulating that a deal with the Islamist group Hamas for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was close. However, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak denied the reports.

"The reports are incorrect and it's possible they are even causing damage," said Barak, according to the Washington Post.

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