While the prime minister makes his way back to Jerusalem from Washington, Interior Minister Eli Yishai will be traveling to the capital by foot – along with the Shalit family and participants in the march for captive soldier Gilad Shalit's release.
Yishai on Wednesday announced that he would join the march in Beit Shemesh, and will be the first minister of the seven-minister forum to take part in the protest, which in part targets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government's policies with regards to negotiations with Hamas.
Earlier Wednesday Minister of Improvement of Government Services Michael Eitan joined the march.
Yishai's participation was not coordinated with the prime minister or any other Israeli official, and in a talk with Ynet, the minister said that he made the decision "in order to support the family and make it clear that Gilad is always at the top of the decision-makers' priority list. This march is not a protest march, but a procession of unity."
Yishai wished to note that, "There is no one in the country that doesn't think everything should be done to get Gilad back home. I also say it is our duty to keep working until he is home. I have been in contact with his family from the moment he was kidnapped till today, because part of our job is also to embrace them."
The interior minister will be the third member of the Shas party faction to take part in the march, after Knesset Members Dudu Azoulay and Yitzhak Vaknin.
The Shalit family in recent days drew encouragement from the brief participation of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's wife Nili Priel, who joined the march as it passed by her house in Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, the march approaches the capital, and thousands of people on Wednesday marched through the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway, causing heavy traffic jams.
Gilad Shalit was kidnapped to the Gaza Strip 1,473 days ago
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