Meeting with the Chilean miners on the last day of their trip to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced hope on Wednesday that captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit will soon be released, just as the visitors were rescued after spending more than two months underground.
Netanyahu and miners. (Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)
"I cannot expand on what we are doing, but even without the details you can rest assured that not a day or a week goes by without something being done (to free Shalit)," Netanyahu told Ynet.
"The difference between this case and other cases, such as New Zealand," Netanyahu said, referring to the devastating earthquake that hit the island nation recently, "is that in those cases we know (where the victims are) and in Shalit's case we don't know. But the goal is the same: To get him out from the depths of the earth. To return Gilad. I hope that it happens during my term in office."
Netanyahu made sure to shake the hands of each of the 24 miners, and told them that the Israeli public strives for peace and sanctifies life, just as they did in surviving the mine collapse that trapped them underground for 69 days this past summer.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow miners, Luis Uruza thanked Netanyahu for the invitation and said that their visit "to one of the most beautiful countries in the world" has turned them into Israel's goodwill ambassadors.
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