Shalit's father urges captors to negotiate

Noam Shalit, father of kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, appealed to his son's captors Wednesday to quickly resolve the current conflict in order to ease both his family's suffering and that of Palestinians. In a telephone interview with "Voice of Peace" radio, Shalit again requested that a neutral agent be given access to his son. Wednesday marked 11 days since Shalit was kidnapped, and the family has repeatedly demanded a "sign of life" from his kidnappers. "I want first of all to turn to the groups that are holding Gilad," Shalit said. "If they want to end this issue, and I assume they do, they should bring their demands or their proposal to the Egyptian elements and and not draw out this issue so that needless suffering will be prevented, both for us and for the Palestinian people." "We could conclude this tomorrow, today," he added. Shalit said that he "asked the groups that are holding Gilad to allow a neutral Egyptian or French representative or the Red Cross to meet with Gilad without exposing where he is being hidden." Asked by his interviewer if he would be willing to meet with his son's kidnappers, Shalit answered, "yes, of course."