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'Don't forget about our sons'
08/09/2006
Kidnapped soldiers' families appeal to Knesset.
Families of the kidnapped soldiers confronted Knesset members with a plea Tuesday: Don't forget about our sons. "A diplomatic agreement in Lebanon cannot be reached without returning our sons," said Noam Shalit, the father of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who was abducted by Palestinian gunmen at an IDF post near Kerem Shalom on June 25. As he spoke, his wife blinked back tears and nodded at MKs to stress her husband's words. The families reminded the MKs that they all lived in the North, and in addition to confronting their personal losses, they were living under the daily barrage of rocket fire. "Every day just gets harder," said Ayal Regev, brother of kidnapped soldier Eldad Regev. "Just return the soliders as soon as possible." Nearly two dozen MKs met with the families, with most offering words of comfort. "I believe your children are alive and will return home shortly," said Pensioners Minister Rafi Eitan. "We thank you for your words," said Malka Goldwasser, mother of kidnapped soldier Ehud Goldwasser. "Unfortunately, I do not see the two MKs here who interrupted the plenum... to speak about humanity," she said, referring to two Arab MKs who interrupted a speech by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni during Tuesday morning's plenum to scream that the Israeli army had lost its humanity. "I wanted to meet with them so that they could represent me in front of Hizbullah. Let them use their emotions to let me receive a sign of life from my son," she said. MK Yossi Beilin responded by telling her that the Arab MKs had not been invited to meet with the families. MK Zevulun Orlev, who organized the family's visit to the Knesset said that if Malka Goldwasser wanted, he would arrange a meeting between her and the Arab MKs. "I felt it was inappropriate to invite representatives of Arab parties where one member refers to the defense minister as 'murderer,' another refers to the opposition leader as 'angel of death' and a third one gives advice to Hizbullah," Orlev said.
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