When Gilad Shalit was abducted by Hamas terrorists in June of 2006, the world became aware of the Hamas‘ tactic of kidnapping Israeli soldiers in an attempt to free imprisoned terrorists. But this is not something new. According to their own numbers, Hamas terrorists have executed 24 abduction attempts since the organizations inception in 1987, but planned kidnappings of soldiers date back even further. Hamas sees the abduction of soldiers as legitimate and has made it unmistakably clear it plans to abduct more soldiers in the future in order to extort the release of 6,000 Palestinian prisoners still serving sentences in Israeli prisons.
The IDF highly values the life of every single one of its soldiers and does its utmost to protect its soldiers against harm. In light of the repeated threats and attempts of kidnapping Israeli soldiers, the IDF held several drills, training how to deal with abductions of soldiers. These kind of drills will be held on a monthly basis in order to give the soldiers of the IDF the best possible preparation.
To this date, the whereabouts of seven Israeli soldiers, Ze’ev Rotshik, Zecharia Baumel, Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Ron Arad, Guy Hever and Majdi Halabi, are still unknown.