Noam Shalit in Italy. Against easing Gaza blockade
Photo: AP
Noam Gilad and Italian Foreign Minister Frattini
Photo: AP

Noam Shalit in Rome: Europe's voice weak

Father of abducted IDF soldier held by Hamas meets Italian foreign minister, Rome mayor; says Israel gave in to EU pressure

Noam Shalit, father of abducted IDF soldier Gilad, said to Ynet on Thursday that Europe's call for the release of his son is not enough. "Here and there they make calls like that, feebly and not clearly or unequivocally enough," he said.


Shalit, currently in Rome, met with Mayor Gianni Alemanno and later with Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. He said he had thanked the mayor for the event in aid of Gilad, for whom the lights of the Colosseum will be turned off Thursday night at the same exact time as the lights on the Old City walls in Jerusalem will be turned off.


"This is a beautiful and moving gesture," he said. Rome has granted Gilad honorary citizenship.


Shalit also said his hosts wanted to know what was happening with the deal that would lead to Gilad's release.


"I said things have changed for the worse after Israel gave up the main leverage point it had for securing his release – the civilian blockade (on the Gaza Strip)," he said.


Noam Shalit outside Colosseum on Thursday (Photo: Reuters)


During his meeting with Frattini, Shalit asked the EU to pressure Hamas in the same way it had pressured Israel to lift the blockade after the flotilla affair.


"Israel gave in to international pressure," he said. "I expect the Europeans to apply the same pressure on Hamas to release Gilad, both directly and indirectly."


Jerusalem's walls in darkness (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


"The Europeans say they have no direct contact with Hamas, but Europe is a central player in the Middle East and it has the ability to apply indirect pressure if it chooses," Shalit said.


The event in Rome will mark four years since Gilad was abducted.


"This will remind the Italians that keeping Gilad four years in Hamas captivity without seeing his family or Red Cross representatives is a war crime," Gilad's father asserted.


On Friday, four years will have passed since Gilad Shalit was abducted


פרסום ראשון: 06.24.10, 23:22
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