1,700 Days Without Gilad Shalit

Israel marks the 1,700th day of captivity for Gilad Shalit

Published: February 20th 2011
in News » Israel

Noam Shalit with a picture of his son, Gilad

Despite the cold, the Shalit family, accompanied by scores of supporters, rallied outside Prime Minister Netanyahu’s house in Jerusalem earlier today.


Today marks the 1,700th day that Gilad Shalit, the Israeli Defence Forces solider, has been in Hamas captivity and his family and supporters came to the Prime Minister's house to demand his immediate release.


1,700 days, can you imagine? Forty-one thousand hours? Two and a half million minutes?


In the ceremony held across from the Prime Minister’s official residence, Aviva Shalit (mother of Gilad) encouraged by the masses said “I want my son back”. "We are screaming Gilad's plea to Netanyahu, who is behind these dark windows, but there is no answer," she continued while pointing at the house.


"1,700 days of the continuous failure of the Israeli government, the previous and current one. 1,700 days and 1,700 nights of captivity in Gaza. 1,700 days of indescribable suffering, days of missing everything that Gilad left behind,” she continued.


She also accused Netanyahu of failing to release her son, claiming that while Gilad rots away in a dark cellar, the only thing that is being done is “talk”: "we say to the prime minister: enough talk, enough explanation, enough chirping, enough is enough." She concluded by urging decision makers to think about how Gilad is "surviving [there] with no hope on the horizon."


In a response, the Prime Minister’s office has released a statement saying that Netanyahu, along with all the rest of Israel identify with the Shalit family “and feel their pain”. The statement also said that the actions to bring him back home are still continuing.


Nevertheless, the statement also mentioned that Netanyahu is also responsible for the security of the citizens of Israel, therefore he holds his position that “dangerous terrorists wont be released back to the West Bank, where they are able to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel,” a key issue in the negotiations up to now.


Shalit was captured by Hamas in a cross-border terrorist attack in 2006. Since then, despite all the effort made, the negotiations between Israel and Hamas over his release, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Hamas terrorists kept in Israeli prison, have been in vain.


If you live in Toronto and want to show your support, please attend the "Free Gilad Shalit" event on Monday, March 7, 2011.  More details can be found here.

Related articles: (Gilad Shalit, Netanyahu, Hamas, )

Share with friends Print this page Read later Recommend 2 times