Former captive soldier's father ‘overjoyed’ by Schalit deal

"What he needs now is peace and quiet. I know what we went through when Benny was taken, when he was brought back from captivity."

By
October 18, 2011 03:09
1 minute read.
Ammiq Natural Reserve in western Bekaa in Lebanon.

Lebanon hills 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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With the Israeli media and untold well-wishers descending upon the Schalit family’s hometown of Mitzpe Hila on Tuesday, one fallen soldier’s family will be far away in Jerusalem, watching the celebrations from afar.

Haim Avraham, father of fallen IDF soldier Benny Avraham, killed during a Hezbollah attack on their patrol in the Har Dov area in October 2000, said he and his family will be taking part in the annual Jerusalem March along with tourists from around the world, while keeping a special place in their heart for the Schalit family.

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“We are very excited and happy that Gilad is coming home. What he needs now is peace and quiet. I know what we went through when Benny was taken and when he was brought back from captivity.

“They need the time with their son and to take care of him and speak to him. At some point we’ll call them and speak to them.”

The bodies of Benny Avraham and the other two soldiers in the patrol; Adi Avitan and Omar Suweid, were returned to Israel following a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah in January 2004.

Even though he said he will keep his distance from the Schalit family in the meantime, Avraham admitted that he is among those in Israel enthralled by the impending return of the young soldier.

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“Obviously it’s a very exciting day,” he said, “even though our son can’t come back, their son can and I’m happy our state is continuing the tradition of returning soldiers no matter what state they’re in.

“We’re very happy for the Schalit family.”

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