Schalit march 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The family of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, along with thousands of supporters, arrived Monday morning at Rabin Square for a rally as the "freedom march" reached Tel Aviv.
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Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai was set to meet the the Schalit family after the Rabin Square rally.
The participants, led by Aviva and Noam Schalit, reached the private home of Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the Akirov Towers shortly after setting out from the Glilot area. The captured soldier's parents met with the minister's wife, Nili Priel, who later walked beside them for one section of the march.
After leaving Tel Aviv the Schalits were set to travel south towards the Gaza border. They were expected to visit the location near Kerem Shalom where their son was kidnapped four years earlier.
After the visit to the border, a special concert by Israeli singer Shlomo Arzti was scheduled to take place at Eshkol
Park in the Negev. The concert was organized by activists for Gilad's release and was billed as "A Cry Out to the World."
Heavy traffic disruptions were expected in the Tel Aviv area, with many major roads being closed
to make way for the high number of expected participants.
Major thoroughfares in Tel Aviv that will be closed include Einstein,
Haim Levanon, Rokah, Yehuda Maccabi, Pinkas, Jabotinsky, Arlozorov,
Shaul Hamelech and Kaplan.
In the afternoon, police will also close roads heading south because of the
planned concert in Park Eshkol. Private vehicles will not be allowed in
the area around the park.
Over 10,000 supporters joined the Schalit family towards the end of
their march from Kibbutz Shefayim to Tel Aviv Sunday.
Several lanes on Ayalon South were closed to traffic to allow the
marchers to cross safely as they reached the Galilot interchange.
Yoel Schalit, brother of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, spoke to a
crowd of people participating in the day's Freedom March at the
Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya on Sunday.