Noam Schalit, father of captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, told reporters on Friday night that he was relieved to watch the video footage of his son, which proves he is alive, and called on the government to continue intensive negotiations.
"Aviva and I and all of the Schalit family thank the negotiating team headed by Hagai Hadas for bringing us an authentic, updated sign of life from Gilad for the first time after more than 3 years in captivity. We thank the activists and public for their support and expect Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to bring about our son's release," Noam said in a statement to the press several hours after the video clip was published.
"Although we regard this as an important step, we expect the intense negotiations to continue until Gilad returns homeâ€¦ The government and leaders have had plenty of time to look into all of the alternative methods that could bring about Gilad's release," he said.
Noam Schalit went on to stress that after watching their son in the video clip, the family is worried with his appearance. "On the surface he appears to be well, but he has been suffering almost 1,200 unbearable days and nights in Hamas captivity, paying the full price for the failed conduct and policies of the government," he said.
"We await his return home in the very near future," the captive soldier's father concluded.