UK Jewish community commemorates Schalit's birthday

Community is marking Gilad Schalit’s 25th birthday by launching new awareness campaign, calling on British gov't to press for his release.

By JONNY PAUL JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
August 27, 2011 23:17
2 minute read.
Gilad Schalit

Gilad Schalit 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The British Jewish community is marking Gilad Schalit’s 25th birthday on Sunday by launching a new awareness campaign and calling on the government and Red Cross to press for his release.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews launched its facesforgilad.org campaign to keep the kidnapped soldiers plight in the public domain.

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“As we prepare to mark his 25th birthday on Sunday, the Board of Deputies demands the immediate and unconditional release of Gilad Schalit. Kidnapped by Hamas from within sovereign Israel in June 2006, this birthday will be the sixth that Gilad has spent in captivity - denied contact with his family, visits from the Red Cross and independent medical care,” the Board said.

Putting the onus of blame firmly on Hamas, the representative community organization said that his treatment demonstrates “the criminal and barbarous nature of Hamas and their callous disregard for the rules of normal human decency and international law.”

The Board called for this to be his last birthday in captivity.

“The Board of Deputies calls upon the Red Cross to increase its efforts to gain access to Gilad Shalit and to protect his basic human rights. We demand that the British Government, along with its EU counterparts and the international community, apply substantial pressure to Hamas to end Gilad’s plight to ensure that this birthday will be the last one which he spends in captivity.”



Meanwhile Trafalgar Square in central London will host a rally in support of Israel on Sunday.

Organized by the organization British Israel Coalition (BIC), the rally is in response to the recent terrorist attacks in Israel in which eight Israelis were killed and recent anti-Israeli demonstrations such as the Al-Quds march in central London last Sunday in support for Hamas and Hezbollah and where placards such as “death to Israel” where seen on the streets of London.

Organizers said that Sunday’s rally is a show of support for Israel and for peace and are expecting thousands to attend.

“As Christians, Muslim and Jewish supporters of the only free state in the Middle East, let’s show some urgently required solidarity,” BIC said.


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