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Zvi Shalit Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv
Zvi Shalit Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv


Waiting for my grandson

Special op-ed: Gilad Shalit's grandfather prepares to see him for first time in years

Zvi Shalit
Published: 10.17.11, 23:57 / Israel Opinion

If everything goes according to plan, on Tuesday I will meet my grandson, Gilad, for the first time in five and a half years. The period that started when we were told about the completion of the deal and will end when we see him – safe and sound, I hope – is filled with anticipation and immense excitement. I’m speechless.


Read other Shalit swap op-eds:


My conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, where he informed me of Gilad's expected release, was one of the most joyous conversations in my life. Mostly, it was very different than previous talks I had with the PM.


On several occasions in the past I expressed my fury at Netanyahu: I told him that he is sentencing my grandson to death and demanded that he free Gilad, because everything depends on the PM.


During Gilad's years in captivity I turned to anyone who could help in securing his release: The president, the prime minister, and international figures and leaders. My wife and I lost our son, Yoel may he rest in peace, in the Yom Kippur War, and we were afraid that we could lose our grandson as well.


Now, I take my hat off to Aviva and Noam who insisted on staying in a tent until Gilad returns home. Their struggle proved successful.


In the midst of all this excitement I try to keep in mind all the time that we live in the Middle East. Hence, only once I see Gilad with my own eyes I would be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Only then, I would thank everyone who brought him back home.



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