Taking Tel Aviv by storm
Photo: Yaron Brener

Shalit march arrives in Tel Aviv

Citizens marching for kidnapped soldier's release disperse before rally to take place Monday in Rabin Square. 'I call on Tel Avivians to vote with their feet and join us tomorrow morning,' says soldier's brother

Participants in the march for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit dispersed Sunday evening after arriving in Tel Aviv.


Around 5,000 marchers had walked from Herzliya through Ayalon highway, and the protest is scheduled to continue Monday morning with a ceremony held in Rabin Square.


Upon entering the city Yoel Shalit, the soldier's brother, said the support for his family had not waned throughout the march south.


"I don't think it has anything to do with place of residence, and hope that we will receive the same support here that we have received until now," he said. "I call on Tel Avivians to vote with their feet and join us tomorrow morning."


Indeed, quite a number of the city's residents awaited the marchers when they reached the area. Avi Saraf, of Ramat Gan, arrived with his three children. "This short walk is the least we could do to support the family," he said. "The children also wanted to come, because it's time to bring (Gilad) home."  

Traffic stops for Shalit march (Photo: Ido Erez)


Irina Naftalyev, a resident of Tel Aviv and mother of a discharged soldier, stood by herself. She explained the importance of the march in her city.


"I am sure there will be more participants in Tel Aviv than anywhere else in Israel," she said. "I believe the public here cannot be indifferent to this battle, in which every step is important in order to achieve the aim of returning Gilad home."


At around 3:30 pm police closed off Highway 2 between Herzliya and Tel Aviv, and after the march had passed Ayalon highway was also closed.


The eighth day of the march began at 9 am in Kibbutz Shefayim, from whence the marchers entered Highway 2 and began walking south towards Herzliya, where a ceremony was held at the Interdisciplinary Center.


Among the participants wasRona Ramon, who lost her husband Ilan in the Colombia space shuttle disaster and her son Asaf in a military plane crash.


She told the audience: "In a place like this, words become small. I am saying a personal prayer that what can be changed will be changed. Gilad is still alive." She received a huge round of applause from the audience.


פרסום ראשון: 07.04.10, 19:00
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