Saturday marks the 1,000th day of Gilad Shalit in captivity and, at midnight, family members, friends and their supporters held a ceremony in their protest tent in front of the prime minister's house to mark the sad event.
At a certain point, the kidnapped soldier's father, Noam, who had remained silent throughout the ceremony, reached out and touched the sign.
"This number speaks for itself. I think that all of Israel needs to stop for a minute and think about Gilad in captivity in Gaza," he said to participants in the ceremony.
Tal Danor, who hung the sign, told Ynet that "it's a sad and really unpleasant feeling. We hoped we wouldn't reach 1,000. I hope we won't have to change a lot more numbers."
He said he doesn't believe Gilad knows that 1,000 days have passed. "I don't really know what Gilad is feeling. He knows a lot of time has passed. I hope he feels as we do – that the end is near. That's what we want and hope for," Danor added.
Noam Shalit, with sign marking son's days of captivity (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Chariman of the Headquarters for Campaign for Gilad Shalit Hezi Meshita told Ynet that "a thousand years ago we started with one numeral. Now we're at four. We're starting a second thousand and I hope we're only talking about a very few more numbers."
Leaving the tent
Saturday marks the last day for Noam and Aviva in the protest tent they set up in Jerusalem at the beginning of March, hoping to avoid marking a thousand days of captivity for their son.
Meshita emphasized that "the struggle has not ended. The Shalit family is leaving the tent, but the struggle will not be abandoned."
Danor added that the youths of the campaign intended to stay in the tent. "We mean to stay here in the same manner. We'll stay here 24 hours a day – we'll sleep here. We'll teach other kids, we'll bring teachers to teach us, give lectures. We hope the struggle will help."