Protest outside Red Cross HQ last week
Photo: David Karp
Noam and Aviva Shalit
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Breaking their silence – Shalit family heads to New York

Campaigners for release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit say his family's decision not to push the new government was a mistake. Now Noam and Aviva will ask the US administration to include their son's case in efforts to advance peace process in region

"It seems that the silence the Shalit family has bound itself by since the government was elected has legitimized the lack of action," the Headquarters for the Release of Gilad Shalit said on Saturday evening.


The activists added that they are considering a change of tactics. The organization slammed the fact that

no substitute has been found yet for special negotiator Ofer Dekel. Earlier on Saturday Minister Dan Meridor turned down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to replace Dekel.


"The family's trip to the US should reverberate in the ears of the leadership at home, the State of Israel must uphold its commitments, every day that passes deepens the estrangement between the state and those it sends in its name," the group said.


"It should not be taken for granted that the new government understands that Gilad is its responsibility even if he was taken captive under the watch of the previous government. It's possible that the lesson from (MIA navigator) Ron Arad has not been learned yet."


The activists further noted that less than a month is left before the third anniversary of Shalit's captivity.


Proof of life

Noam and Aviva Shalit, Gilad's parents, will lead the annual solidarity march for Israel in New York City on Sunday.


The theme of the march, organized by the Jewish community in the city, will center on the fight to secure Shalit's release from Hamas captivity.


The family will ask the US leadership to make Gilad's case part of its overall efforts to advance the

stagnated peace process in the region.


Noam Shalit will also reiterate his call to the Red Cross, urging it to uphold its commitment to visit Gilad and bring back proof of life.


Shalit has received no visits since his June 2006 abduction from Israel in a cross-border raid carried out by Gaza terror groups. Little is known of his current condition, though he is believed to have been wounded during his abduction.


פרסום ראשון: 05.31.09, 00:04
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