Pope Benedict XVI conveyed a message to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh requesting the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The Vatican’s new Ambassador to Israel Antonio Franco promised President Moshe Katsav that the Vatican would do everything in its power to assist in the safe return of the soldier.
New York Senator Hillary Clinton also called for the return of the kidnapped soldier. Clinton has laid the responsibility for the fate of the soldier and for the Israeli military preparations for a possible incursion into Gaza on Hamas.
Clinton called on the international community and humanitarian organizations to act immediately for the return of the soldier.