Photo: Noam Rotem
Gilad Shalit
Photo: Noam Rotem
Photo: Amir Cohen
Gilad's father, Noam. Message to government
Photo: Amir Cohen

Gathering for Gilad Shalit's birthday

Kidnapped soldier's family, friends arrive at place where he was kidnapped to mark his 20th birthday; 'we are here to remind Israeli government not to abandon its captive soldiers,' Gilad's father Noam says

Noam Shalit, the father of soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped at Kerem Shalom about two months ago, said Monday: "We are here to remind everyone that you have been imprisoned for 65 long days, which to us seem forever, and still we have no sign of life."


Gilad's family, friends and comrades arrived at the place from where he was kidnapped to mark Gilad's 20th birthday which he would have celebrated on Monday.


Gilad's father asked to convey a clear message to the Israeli Government.

Waiting for Gilad's return (Photo: Amir Cohen)


"We came here to remind the Israeli government and the IDF of their moral commitment to you, Gilad, and the ethos which many soldiers were taught to believe, that we do not abandon our troops in enemy territory nor in captivity," he said.


Gilad's father added that he regrets the fact that members of his family cannot celebrate Gilad's birthday with him present.


"I doubt whether you know what date it is today, whether you realize that today is your 20th birthday," he said.


He added that he hopes all three kidnapped soldiers will return home soon.


Friends: It could have been any one of us 

Friends of Gilad from the company said that they don't feel at ease, because after the incident in which he was injured and two other soldiers - Lt. Hanan Barak and Staff Sergeant Pavel Slotzker - were killed, an accusing finger was pointed at the company's quality of performance.


One of the company members, Sergeant Guy Eliasaf, who served with Gilad since basic training, told Ynet that "it could have been any one of us and it's not a good feeling. We know that they're doing everything to bring Gilad back and we know that on the morning of the incident we all did everything we could. Now we are one family and we want Gilad to come home."


Bar Zrihan, who spoke at the ceremony as a representative of Gilad's friends, said that a rally calling for the immediate release of the kidnapped soldiers would take place in Rabin Square on Thursday. "It's hard to say Mazel Tov (Good Luck) to Gilad, but if you change the context, this is exactly what we need to wish for him."


פרסום ראשון: 08.28.06, 17:37
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