Some 300 people, among them released war prisoners, attended the ceremony.
Activists at ceremony (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
In a conversation with Ynet, Gilad Shalit's father, Noam Shalit, addressed the recent reports that Turkey is involved in the efforts to return his son in exchange for the release of Israeli Arabs prisoners.
"They say many things in the newspapers, but we weren't informed," he said. "We know that Germany is the official mediator. It is possible that other nations are trying to help."
'Everything has price'
Two weeks earlier, Noam's son Yoel held a vocal protest during the official torch-lighting Independence Day ceremony on Mount Herzl.
"On Independence Day many slogans and words were said on Mount Herzl, but we are waiting for the mutual commitment to be implemented in practice," Noam Shalit said.
Aviva Shalit at ceremony. (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Aviva Shalit, the captive soldier's mother, lit a torch during Saturday's event and addressed a speech to her son.
"Today everything has a price, even you," she said. "They say that you are too expensive. They are waiting for your price to go down, maybe. I'm trying to explain that if we wait for the end of season sale, it might be too late, like it happened with Ron Arad."
Hezi Shai, a former IDF soldier who was captured during the first Lebanon War but was released in a prisoner swap, told Ynet: "Every citizen in the State of Israel must ask himself why Gilad is still there, and what is he doing to expedite (Gilad's) return. Each citizen must know that tomorrow it could be his son."
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