Dozens of mothers and women held a rally at the Erez crossing near the Gaza Strip on Friday morning, calling for the release of kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.
The women held signs reading "Mothers for Gilad Shalit" and "Let Gilad Shalit's sun shine." They made their way to the crossing in a convoy of cars carrying yellow ribbons.
The group members said that they are not part of a feministic or political movement. "We are backed by fathers and other parents, who deeply identify with what is happening to Gilad Shalit."
The group was organized by Madi Cohen and Israela Shidlov of Moshav Kidron, near Gdera. The group members plan to hold similar rallies calling for Shalit's release in central junctions across the country every week.
"We came here, to the closest place to Gilad Shalit, to say as mothers and women that everything must be done in order for Gilad Shalit to be released," Israela Shidlov told the crowd.
"We see this from the point of view of mothers of soldiers in the past, present and future. Some of us are mother of soldiers, and we could all find ourselves in the same situation exactly as Gilad Shalit's mother."
Madi Cohen spoke about the ongoing struggle. "Gilad has been here for a pretty long time, and we will come here every week until we welcome him with flowers and smiles.
"We plan to speed up the struggle and call on all the people of Israel to come and stand with us on every junction and arrive at the Erez crossing every week. Gilad Shalit should be released without any conditions, and we are certain this struggle will raise the awareness," she said.
Adva Marshek, one of the demonstrators who took part in the rally, explained that "I came to express my support for Gilad Shalit's release and take the smallest, most important step in order to convey the message that Gilad should return home as soon as possible.
"I view this as a duty, and I will continue to come here as much as I can until Gilad is freed," she added.