The Goose and the Gander
The Jerusalem Post explains how international law applies to the IDF soldier in Hamas captivity. Shalit is not a POW and not entitled to POW privileges.
IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit is not a prisoner of war and is therefore not entitled to the full protection that international law affords POW's, Hebrew University international law expert Yuval Shani told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. "The Third Geneva Convention applies to states and therefore only grants the status of POW when both parties in the war are states, or at least entities that are close to states," said Shani. "In the case of Gilad Shalit, the group that is holding him is not a state nor does it act on behalf of a state, or apparently, on behalf of an entity which is close to being a state." ...
Prisoners captured in non-international conflicts are not entitled to many of the benefits afforded POWs, including the right to be held as a cohesive group in a special facility for prisoners of war, to meet with doctors and ministers and to receive visits by the Red Cross.
By the token of reciprocity, however, Israel is also not obliged to treat captured Palestinian terrorists as POWs, continued Shani, because the Geneva Accords regarding POWs only apply when two states fight each other. He added that Israel does not indeed observe all of the provisions of international law when it captures and hold terrorists.