"Until now, the State of Israel has failed in all its efforts to bring Gilad home. This is not a decree from the Heavens. It is possible, and it is necessary, to finish this affair quickly, without hesitating," said Aviva Shalit, mother of kidnapped Israeli solider Gilad Shalit, Tuesday at the kickoff of a Knesset exhibit dedicated to a book her son wrote at age 11.
Shalit, who spoke before Knesset members at the event, said, "Last month we marked the three years since the kidnapping of Gilad, who hasn't seen the light of day and hasn't met anyone in the free world. It has been 1,129 days and nights that we don't know a thing about him – is he healthy? Is he injured? Hungry? Cold? Who is talking to him? Hamas leaders are holding him and negotiating with him at the expense of their people who have suffered great and continual pain since the kidnapping."
According to Shalit, the state has not done enough to ensure the release of her son.
"In another month, Gilad will reach his 23rd birthday, his fourth in captivity. It is doubtful if he will know that same day is his birthday. We are here to remind the elected officials that two or three hours from here a living soldier is in Hamas captivity. We must return Gilad before it is too late, before the affair becomes an indelible stain on Israeli society," she said.
During the exhibit, dedicated to Gilad's book "When the Shark and the Fish First Met," Aviva Shalit said, "The book sheds light on Gilad's personality as a person who seeks peace, as someone who believed that the shark and the fish can live together."
Shalit finished her speech to the elected officials, "I ask of you to pass by this wall on your way to work, to take a quick glance and remember that there is someone anxiously awaiting for you to take action and bring Gilad home. I hope that Gilad will also get to see the exhibit up close during the current Knesset."
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin spoke at the short ceremony marking the launch of the exhibit. "Gilad is alive, and it is all of our responsibility to return him to the lap of his worried family. In recent months and since he fell captive, the whole country has become part of the Shalit family. I hope and wish that we will soon no longer have to make do with just a book and illustrations," he said.