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Gilad Shalit

August 29, 2010

Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was taken hostage by Palestinian militants on 25 June 2006.  To mark Shalit’s 24th birthday, his 5th in captivity, a demonstration was held in Jerusalem near the home of Israel’s PM.

Shalit’s parents Aviva and Noam Shalit have spent the last six weeks camping in a protest tent in Jerusalem following a march asking Netanyahu to facilitate a prisoner exchange.  At a press conference in East Jerusalem on August 4th Noam Shalit called for flexibility:

If the two sides of the conflict show some flexibility, it will be possible to make an agreement,” Shalit said.

Such an agreement, Shalit said, would benefit thousands of Palestinian families who would have their fathers and sons back to celebrate the festival of Ramadan.

“I would welcome any release of Palestinian prisoners, but I would welcome the release of one Israeli prisoner,” said the emotional Shalit, raising a solitary finger.

At the demonstration yesterday, to which the wives of ministers and members of the Knesset had been invited,  Aviva Shalit spoke to her son:

Gilad my beloved son, today is your birthday,” said Aviva Shalit. “Once again I did not buy you a present this year, I didn’t bake a cake, you won’t be able to blow out the candles. I miss you more every day. I will make one wish in your name: that your candle not be extinguished, that you remain healthy in your body and soul. Sorry for not freeing you yet.” …

Shalit ended her address by proclaiming that she will not return to her home in Mitzpeh Hila without Gilad. “We will celebrate your next birthday at home,” she concluded.

If Palestinian and Israeli leaders really want peace they will heed the words of Aviva and Noam Shalit.

H/T Women’s Views on News

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