Zvi Schalit: Congress not the right forum to discuss Gilad

Grandfather of Gilad Schalit says Netanyahu should use improved status following US visit to "save Gilad immediately."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 25, 2011 11:53
1 minute read.
A previous Schalit rally [file]

Schalit protests 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Captive soldier Gilad Schalit's grandfather, Zvi Schalit, said Wednesday that he was not disappointed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu failed to mention Gilad's case in his speech to congress on Tuesday.

"It's not the right forum to bring up Gilad," Schalit told Army Radio. "The public knows that the prime minister is the one who holds the key to Gilad's freedom. As such, because of the high emotions of the affair and the [presence of] American soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it was not appropriate."

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Zvi Schalit's comments come just days after Gilad's father, Noam, called on Congress to halt funding of the Palestinian Authority until the captured soldier was returned home.

Zvi said that the correct forum to raise his grandson's issue was with US President Barack Obama and at AIPAC. The US president had called on Hamas to release Gilad at his address to the Israel-lobby on Sunday.

Asked about news of any progress in efforts to return his son, Schalit added, "I'm tired of being disappointed time and again, Gilad needs to be brought home."

Netanyahu, he said, "needs to exploit his strong political situation after returning from the the United States and to save Gilad immediately."

Yesterday, demonstrators at the Erez Crossing to Gaza sat at the border preventing a Brinks armored truck from bringing a payload to the strip. Authorities attempted to negotiate with the protesters who refused to budge, saying they would not allow the money to pass until Gilad is returned home.

The truck was forced to seek another route to deliver the cash.


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