Noam Schalit at press conference 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
The Schalit family will spend the eve of the Jewish New Year in their Jerusalem
protest tent, Noam, father of captive soldier Gilad
Schalit told Israel Radio in an interview Wednesday.
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year has passed and Gilad is still not with us," said Noam. "We are in
the protest tent, maybe one of the last that remain in Israel, and we
are still here. Committees of professors won't help us, we need leaders
to make hard decisions that involve taking risks."
the countless meetings held between the Schalits and the government, and their tireless efforts to raise awareness, Noam said
that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must return Gilad, who has been
held hostage by Hamas for five years.
"They sent him on a
mission almost 2000 days ago, and they haven't found a way to return
him," Noam said. "The price [of returning him] doesn't change, the price
isn't going down. They have to pay the price to bring him home."
He said that while Netanyahu refused to release terrorists in exchange for
Gilad, he has failed to put enough pressure on Hamas via other
Noam added that this was not the first time that a solider had been
taken hostage, and in reference to previous solider-prisoner exchanges,
he said that it seemed as though the government found it easier to deal
with soldiers' coffins than with soldiers that are still alive.
He acknowledged the risk involved in releasing prisoners, of whom dozens
may return to terror; however, he added that "the state should know how to to deal
with this threat." Otherwise, he asked, "what are we doing here in
Asked where the Schalit family still gets their hope from, Noam
replied, "We have no choice. If we sit at home and wait, we will never
see Gilad again."