Schalit family, supporters rally outside PM’s Office

Ahead of Gilad’s birthday, supporters can send greetings online.

big schalit rally 311 (photo credit: AP)
big schalit rally 311
(photo credit: AP)
Marking the week leading up to kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit’s 24th birthday, members of his family, accompanied by dozens of supporters, rallied outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Sunday morning, and called on the government to do more to secure Schalit’s release from Gaza.
“Have you noticed that you’re missing a soldier?” read the protesters’ signs as the cabinet held its weekly meeting inside.
RELATED:Nine years after the Sbarro massacreHamas: Schalit deal at a standstill
Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled (Likud) and Minority Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman (Labor) later emerged from the building and spoke to the protesters, before the crowd made its way back to the Schalit protest tent, which continues to stand on Derech Aza near the Prime Minister’s Residence.
Schalit will turn 24 on Saturday, and additional rallies are planned for this week protesting his continued detention.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations launched a campaign last week to send greetings to Schalit on the occasion of his birthday.
The greetings will be presented to national Red Cross affiliates to be passed on to the International Committee of the Red Cross for delivery to Schalit.
He was abducted in a crossborder raid more than four years ago and is presumed to be held in Gaza by Hamas, which has not allowed him any visits by the Red Cross or any other humanitarian group – a violation of international law.
After Succot, which ends in late September, the Conference of Presidents said it will make a symbolic presentation to the Red Cross, asking it to intercede with Hamas and allow a humanitarian visit.
Supporters can send Schalit birthday greetings through A billboard calling for Schalit’s release will be put up in Times Square for the week before Rosh Hashana, which begins on September 8, the Conference of Presidents said.
JTA contributed to this report.