Noam Shalit. Worried
Photo: Gil Yohanan
The Israeli government avoided a military operation in Gaza for a long time, in an effort to avoid endangering the life of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Nonetheless, Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, chose not to comment on the government's decision to launch "Operation Cast Lead" on Saturday.
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"As can be expected, we're following events in Gaza with great anxiety, but we have no comment at this time," he said. He added that he had not been informed of the government's intention to launch the operation.
Other family members and the headquarters for the Campaign for the Release of Gilad Shalit also came to the decision Sunday not to comment on events in Gaza at this juncture.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert addressed the issue of Shalit in a press conference Saturday, saying, "Today, as well, my heart is with the Shalit family. Aviva, Noam, the children and grandfather Zvi, along with many others, are likely terrified for his fate."
"I call on the Israeli public to stand behind the IDF's operation," he added.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said, "We tried everything to achieve a ceasefire without using force. We agreed to an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire, which was violated by Hamas, who keeps launching rockets at Israel, holding Gilad Shalit and building up its army."
At least 230 Palestinians, most of them members of the security forces, were killed on Saturday as the result of air force strikes on Hamas compounds. Also on Saturday, over 60 rockets were launched at Israel, including several longer-range rockets.