Noam Shalit, father of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, held a press conference in east Jerusalem Tuesday, addressing the Palestinians as he marked 1,500 days since his son's abduction.
Shalit asked the Palestinians to use the month of Ramadan commencing next week to pressure Hamas' leadership to complete a prisoner swap deal with Israel that would secure his son's release.
Shalit spoke both in Hebrew and in English and was assisted by an interpreter who translated his speech into Arabic. He urged Israelis and Palestinians to turn a new leaf marked by peace.
Shalit stressed that a solution to the Palestinian prisoner problem and his son's predicament would require compromises on both sides. "Concessions are not a sign of weakness but power," he said and noted that only the strong can yield.
Noam and Aviva Shalit at the press conference (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Shalit also used the occasion to darw attention to the agony suffered by the families of Palestinian prisoners.
He referred to the difficult conditions faced by Gazans since his son's abduction and stressed that Gilad's return could help improve the residents' quality of life.
Shalit urged the Palestinians to pressure their leaders to promote what he described as a "worthy and significant prisoner swap deal."
Shalit also protested the fact that his son has not been allowed any visit from the Red Cross since his abduction.
"Gilad's situation violates the tenets of Islam which seek mercy for prisoners," he said.
Gilad's father added that he was not aware of any progress in negotiations and said he believed the pressure exerted by him would yield results in the long run.
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook