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Tape: Abducted Israeli soldier needs medical attention

Story Highlights

• Audiotape of Cpl. Gilad Shalit played on Israeli TV
• Shalit captured during June 25, 2006, raid
• Raid helped prompt large Israeli incursion into Gaza
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JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Cpl. Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier abducted by Palestinian political movement Hamas a year ago, said in an audiotape released Monday that his health is deteriorating and that he needs to go the hospital.

"I am the soldier Gilad Shalit, son of Noam Shalit, imprisoned by Izzidine al-Qassam Brigades," the voice says in the message, using the name of Hamas' militant wing. The message was posted on a Hamas Web site and played on Israeli TV. CNN translated the audio from Hebrew.

"It's been a hard year in prison, and my health situation is deteriorating, and I am in need of long-term hospitalization. I am disappointed by the lack of interest on the part of the Israeli government and army and that they are not giving in to the demands of Izzidine al-Qassam Brigades."

The voice echoes the words of Hamas officials in the past, saying that just as he has parents, "so do the thousands of Palestinian prisoners."

Hamas has called for the release of many Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit. Israel has said in the past it may engage in such an exchange, but no deal has been reached.

A written message on the Web site preceding the audio message said in Arabic, "The humanity that guarantees Shalit's life and safety also should guarantee the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails."

Shalit was kidnapped on June 25, 2006, when Palestinian militants led a cross-border raid from Gaza into Israel. While Hamas led the raid, members of other Palestinian militant groups have said they were involved as well.

Militants in Gaza have launched numerous attacks against Israel over the years, including repeated rocket attacks, especially since Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005. However, abducting an Israeli soldier was an unusual move.

Weeks after Shalit's capture last summer, Hezbollah militants launched a cross-border raid from Lebanon north of Israel and kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, touching off the war between Israel and Hezbollah.

During the weekend, many Israelis took part in rallies and demonstrations calling for the release of all three prisoners.

In February, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal told reporters in Cairo, Egypt, that Shalit's father should pressure Israeli leaders to give in to Hamas demands to gain the soldier's freedom.

"I tell Gilad Shalit's father, as a father myself, I do understand his feelings," Meshaal said. "We are human and can value the human emotions, although his son was carrying weapons to kill the Palestinian people."

"Send a message to your government's leaders, not to Hamas, to release your son," Meshaal said.

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Cpl. Gilad Shalit, shown in an undated photo, was kidnapped June 25, 2006.

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