Stars stump for abducted Israeli soldier

Israeli celebrities spend time in mock prison to shine the spotlight on Gilad Schalit, who was abducted by Hamas five years ago.

By REUTERS
June 27, 2011 08:41
1 minute read.
Celebrities in Schalit's cell

Celebrities in Schalit's cell 311 R. (photo credit: reuters)

 
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Israeli singer Ahimoam Nini stands in a sound studio designed to look like a Hamas prison cell.

Nini, known globally as Noa, was one of 24 local celebrities to spend an hour each in this mock prison.

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The event was designed to raise awareness about the plight of Gilad Schalit, the 24-year-old Israeli soldier abducted exactly five years ago by Hamas militants.

Israel singer Ahinoam Nini said, "I think it's the least I can do as a singer-songwriter to try to alleviate the pain of the family and to try to draw attention to the horrible tragedy that this family has been living, and this entire country has been living for the past five years, and to get Gilad to come home."

Schalit was abducted during a daring raid in June 2006, and spirited away to the Gaza Strip.

He was last seen in this video released by Hamas in 2009.



Over the weekend, rallies were held across Israel calling on the government to broker his release.

Schalit's father spoke of his anguish. "For Gilad there is no more time. In captivity there is no tomorrow. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, you don't have the right to sentence Gilad to death."

Netanyahu says he is committed to seeking Schalit's release.

But his rightist government has balked at Hamas' demands to free hundreds of prisoners, some convicted killers, in return.

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