Gilad Shalit's Family Hosts News Conference Urging Hamas to Release Their Son
The fight for the release of Gilad Shalit continues.
Noam Shalit, the father of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, wrote a letter in both Hebrew and Arabic to Hamas rulers, urging them to release the soldier in the spirit of the impending Muslim holiday Ramadan.
In an open letter addressed to the “Palestinian Muslim people in Gaza on the occasion of Ramadan,” he wrote: “We urge you to exert more pressure on your leaders, as we are on Israel, in order to accelerate the exchange of prisoners."
Ramadan, a Muslim holiday which involves prayer and fasting from sunrise to sunset, begins the second week of August and concludes with Eid, a feast. Noam Shalit told American Free Press that he hopes "the 1,000 prisoners, your sons, your fathers, your brothers, can return home and celebrate Eid al-Fitr with their families."
The Shalit family marks their son’s 24th birthday according to the Hebrew calendar, Gilad Shalit’s fifth Hebrew birthday in captivity. The soldier has been held captive as a bargaining tool used to convince the Israeli government to release extreme Islamist prisoners in Israel’s jails.
During the conference, Noam Shalit asked Palestinians to come to an agreement and complete a prisoner swap deal securing his son’s release. He noted that he understands that compromise must be made on both sides.
“Concessions are not a sign of weakness but power," he said. "A thousand prisoners can soon come home and celebrate Ramadan with you. The loss of time does not help our families.”
Noam Shalit also protested that so far, his son has not even been allowed a visit from the Red Cross. "Gilad's situation violates the tenets of Islam which seek mercy for prisoners," he said.
"If the two sides of the conflict show some flexibility, it will be possible to make an agreement," Noam Shalit told CNN News.