Schalit's friends circulate fake audio tape

In tape modeled after previous Schalit recording, voice calls to celebrate MIA's "Hamas anniversary."

Gilad Schalit 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Gilad Schalit 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Friends and family of captive IDF soldier St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit apparently renewed the struggle to free him Sunday morning, by releasing a tape with a recording impersonating Schalit's voice. In the tape, a voice similar to Schalit's is heard saying, "I am the kidnapped soldier Gilad, son of Aviva and Noam Schalit. You are invited to celebrate with me the third anniversary of my captivity by Hamas, in the last place where I was still a free man," Army Radio reported. The tape's phrasing is modeled on a previous, genuine tape released by Hamas more than a year ago, where Schalit is heard reading a (scripted) text calling on Israel to work for his release. The audio tape and hand-written letters, in which Schalit extends a personal invitation to his birthday party, next week on August 28, were apparently fabricated by an organization established by Schalit's friends in 2006. The materials spurred thousands of reactions on Sunday. Last year on Schalit's birthday, a big cake was placed in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv and party favors were handed out, but the birthday boy did not arrive. Bumper stickers with slogans calling for Schalit's release, some of them, like the tape, copying his handwriting and asking the government for help, have also recently been distributed, Army Radio reported.