Photo: Hagai Aharon
Noam Shalit
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Photo: Gil Yohanan
President Moshe Katsav
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Noam Shalit: Let Red Cross visit Gilad

17 days after kidnapping of IDF soldier, President Katsav visits family, calls for Gilad’s release. Father Noam Shalit responds to IDF inquiry into incident which found ‘operational failures’: I expect events won’t repeat themselves

Noam Shalit, father of kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, asked Tuesday why Red Cross representatives were not allowed to visit the hostage, as established in the Geneva Accords.


Shortly after President Moshe Katsav concluded a visit to the Shalit family home in Mitzpeh Hila, the father came out to speak with media representatives. Shalit said he gave the president a number of messages to pass on regarding the approach he thought Israel should take, but he refused to provide further details. The president called for the soldier’s release and expressed satisfaction that for the first time Islamists were calling to obey the Islamic law that says Gilad’s life should be preserved.


‘Operational failure speaks for itself’


For the first time, Noam Shalit responded to the findings of the inquiry led by Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Giora Eiland into the Kerem Shalom attack, which deemed there were severe operational failures in the IDF surrounding the incident.


“The general’s words referring to the incident as a severe operational failure speak for themselves. I expect the events won’t repeat themselves and won’t endanger the lives of more soldiers.” The father refused to address the question of whether army officers should be disciplined for the failures. He noted that he had not met with his son’s officers since the report was published.


The father responded to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s statement barring negotiations with Gilad’s kidnappers and ruling out the release of Palestinian prisoners in return for the soldier’s release. “It doesn’t matter what the prime minister says or declares, what matters is what he does. I believe and know that he is doing the maximum to return Gilad,” Shalit said.


In response to a question on the state of uncertainty the family has been living in for 17 days, he said, “We are living in a nightmare that we can’t wake up from. Time is not on our side.”


פרסום ראשון: 07.11.06, 22:22
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