After battling disease, Gilad Schalit's father, Noam, passes away at 67

While his son, Gilad, was in capitivity, Noam Schalit fought hard for his release.

Noam Schalit (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Noam Schalit
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Noam Schalit, the father of Gilad Schalit, died on Wednesday evening after battling cancer, Israeli media reported.

The funeral will take place in Mitzpe Hila on Thursday.

Schalit was especially active in efforts to free his son, who was let out from Hamas prison in 2011 after five years in captivity.

Schalit organized a walk from his home in Mitzpe Hila in Galilee to Jerusalem to demand that the government do more to free his son. He received widespread public support.

Gilad was kidnapped on June 25, 2006, when his tank was attacked by Hamas gunmen who infiltrated the Israeli side of the Gaza Strip border through a tunnel they dug near the Kerem Shalom crossing.

GILAD SCHALIT is reunited with his father, Noam, at the Tel Nof air base in 2011 after  ve years being held in captivity (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/IDF/REUTERS)GILAD SCHALIT is reunited with his father, Noam, at the Tel Nof air base in 2011 after ve years being held in captivity (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/IDF/REUTERS)

The tank’s commander, Lt. Hanan Barak, and St.-Sgt. Pavel Slutsker were killed, and one other soldier was wounded but escaped attention. Schalit was abducted and brought back to the Strip, where he was held until a prisoner exchange deal was arranged.

That deal was brokered by German and Egyptian mediators on October 18, 2011, in exchange for 1,027 Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Hamas currently holds the bodies of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 war, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, as well as two Israeli civilians believed to be alive: Hisham al-Sayed and Avera Mengistu.