Zvi Shalit Writes Open Letter to PM

Published: August 26th 2010
in News » Israel

Gilad Shalit poster

Zvi Shalit, the grandfather of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, has issued an open letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with less than five days before Gilad’s 24th birthday. The elder Shalit told Ynet on Tuesday that this is the second letter that he has sent to the Prime Minister recently, the first one being private.


“I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister and I asked him to save Gilad, I asked him to get a sign of life from my grandson, a year after the tape we got from him,” said the grandfather. “In the reply that I got, I was told that the Prime Minister will raise the issue during his next visit to the U.S. To me this is an evasive, unsatisfactory response that is not serious. I am very afraid that my grandson may not survive there. It’s already his fifth year there, how do they expect him to survive there for so long?”


In his newest letter, Zvi Shalit continued to warn Netanyahu that Gilad’s life is in danger with each passing day that he remains in the Hamas jail. “Mr. Prime Minister, each day you endanger the life of my grandson, Gilad Shalit. You are not taking care of his release. You are not listening to the masses in Israel who demand his release. You are not listening to your security personnel – the Central Command chief, the chief of staff, the defense minister – who say the release of prisoners Hamas is demanding would not pose a security threat on the State of Israel. You are not honoring the military ethos on which you were brought up, that no soldier should be left behind.”


Meanwhile in Jerusalem, preparations are ongoing for Gilad’s birthday on August 28. The day will be marked this Saturday night opposite the Prime Minister’s residence. Invitations to the event were sent out to ministers’ wives and Knesset members by Gilad’s mother Aviva Shalit, asking them for their attendance. Mrs. Shalit noted that Saturday will mark 1,525 days since her son was kidnapped. The family attended a rally for their son on Tuesday night in Holon.


“Long days and nights in which I did not meet my son… did not see him, hug him, hear him, or smell him, living in a large vacuum and heavy distress in our house in Mitzpe Hila, without any holidays,” said the soldier’s mother. “Gilad the soldier went on a mission for the State of Israel. Did the State of Israel forget him? Did the State do everything?”


Zvi Shalit’s letter goes on to warn Netanyahu that “the day will come when the prison gates are open and the Hamas prisoners will be freed because a courageous Prime Minister will reach an agreement with the Gaza rulers, but my grandson may no longer be.” The emotional grandfather did not hold back his opinions regarding Netanyahu’s efforts to restore Gilad to his home in Mitzpe Hila. “Mr. Prime Minister, if my beloved grandson Gilad dies in the Hamas cellars, it will be your fault.”

Related articles: (Shalit, Hamas, prisoners, open letter, Netanyahu)

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