'4 years of hell is too much'

Aviva Schalit calls to Netanyhau as 15,000 attend Jerusalem rally.

July 8, 2010 13:19
3 minute read.
From right to left: Noam, Aviva, and Yoel Schalit,

Schali family 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Aviva Schalit spoke during a rally at Jerusalem's Independence Park on Thursday evening, as an 11- day freedom march calling for her son's release came to a close.

"Stop, enough - 4 years of hell is too much," Aviva said.

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Addressing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, she said, "Don't ignore us and don't make a fool of us."

Aviva said that it has been very hard for the people taking part in the march to cope with the hot weather and long walks but that for Gilad, it is even harder.

"Don't ignore us - I promise that we wont give up on Gilad and I wont let you give up on him either," Aviva said to the prime minister.

"Gilad has been in Hamas' cellar for 1,474 difficult, dark and painful days and nights," she said. "The time has come to say enough."

"Don't ignore our calls, don't disparage our values," Aviva added, nothing that in Israel, parents send their children to serve in the army based on an unwritten pact between the people and state.

"This pact constitutes in my eyes a fundamental basis for the existence of a healthy society, a moral society, a society that shows public courage and does not allow its leaders to abandon a living soldier," she said.

Police closed many major roads to traffic in Jerusalem including Bezalel Street, Ben Gurion Boulevard, Ben Zvi Street and Hillel Street down to Independance Park.

The demonstrators will remain and hold various events in the capital on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, Noam Schalit told Abu Ghosh notables and councilmen that one of the goals of the march is to "bring about Gilad's release and the release of one thousand Palestinian prisoners."

The captured IDF soldier's father referred to a deal submitted to Hamas by Israel in which one thousand Palestinian prisoners would be released in exchange for the release of Schalit.  In comments that seemed to be turned towards Hamas leadership, Noam Schalit said that the march was meant to "influence the government to accept this deal.""After Israel has made meaningful humanitarian strides for the residents of Gaza, the time has come to complete the deal for the release of the prisoners."

The marchers arrived at Beit Shemesh on Thursday morning, where they were met by local officials and hold a protest at city hall.

Eli Yishai joins Schalits on 'freedom march'

Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) joined the Schalit "freedom march" on Thursday outside of Jerusalem, Israel Radio reported.

Yishai said that he joined the march "to support the family" and that he believed the march was the right way to go about freeing Schalit.

The minister added that everything must be done to free Schalit but not at any price.

Yishai called for the establishment of clear rules about the price that would be paid for prisoners of war in order to reduce the risk of future kidnappings.

Also Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with the Shamgar Commitee, which is charged with setting government principles for negotiations for the release of hostages and missing persons.

Despite the fact that the committee's full report has been delayed, they presented the defense minister with their recommended organizational agreements that don't touch on the questions of considerations, principles and exchanges in negotiations for the release of hostages.

Barak accepted the principles which the committee presented before him and will bring the recommendations up for discussion with the prime minister and the cabinet.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report

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