Schalits visit PM's residence

Parents to stay in tent until captive soldier is returned.

July 9, 2010 20:09
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sar

Netanyahu Schalit 311. (photo credit: GPO)

The public campaign to place pressure on the government to take the necessary steps to free kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit moved Friday from a 11-day crosscountry march to a protest tent outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem.

Aviva and Noam Schalit emerged from an hour-long meeting Friday afternoon in Jerusalem with Netanyahu announcing that their efforts would continue.

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“We did not receive any news today, that can calm us,” Noam Schalit said after the meeting. “We will stay in the protest tent [outside the prime minister’s official residence] as planned. There is no change.

We will wait here until we will return with Gilad.”

Netanyahu travelled to Jerusalem immediately after returning from Washington on Friday to meet with the Schalits. Following the meeting the Netanyahus went to their private home in Caesarea for Shabbat.

Netanyahu, according to a statement released from his office, told the Schalits he discussed their son’s plight in his meetings with US President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, former president Bill Clinton, and UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon.

He said he asked them all to increase international pressure in the effort to have Gilad freed immediately. The prime minister told the Schalit family that he made a point during all his meetings to emphasize that Gilad had still not been allowed a visit from the Red Cross during the entire four years of his captivity.

The prime minister also expressed his personal support for the efforts to free Gilad.

“Not just the tens of thousands of marchers are with you, but you also have the support of all the residents of Israel, and millions of people worldwide, including me and my wife who are sitting here with you,” Netanyahu said.

Shouting matches erupted earlier Friday at the Schalit protest tent in Jerusalem as pro-Schalit activists were confronted by those demonstrating against the freeing of Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands, including the families of past terror victims.

The protesters opposed to the Schalit deal reportedly shouted, “We also want Schalit home, but we aren’t willing to pay any price [for his freedom]. We won’t sell the lives of others for the life of Schalit.”

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