|Gilad Shalit is an Israeli soldier who was captured on June 25 2006 by the Hamas in a cross-border raid. He was captured and has been held as a prisoner in the Gaza strip by the Hamas.Shalit also has a French citizenship, a fact that encouraged France and the European Union to be involved to some extent in the efforts to release him.The Israeli public is divided regarding the issue of negotiating the release of Shalit in exchange for a large number of Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel. There are two opposing camps:
One camp supports the release of Shalit on Hamas’ conditions. According to the Dahaf Polling Institute, 69% of Israelis are in favor of this deal, which would include the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and the deportation of some of them outside the territory of the Palestinian National Authority or restricting them to Gaza.
The second camp says that Shalit should be released, but not on Hamas’ conditions. They argue that the correct approach is to protect Israelis if the prisoners are released. According to the Dahaf Polling Institute, 22% of Israelis are in this camp.
A day before last Yom Kippur my school was at a rally to support Gilad’s release. I saw his mother, Aviva, and she smiled at us. We all made a circle and prayed for his release.
Almost everyone bought shirts that sais “Gilad is Still Alive” but I already had one so I bought a flag. We walked with the flag on our backs to the Western Wall with pride and anticipation – we all hoped that our presence there could do some good. Maybe God would see us and understand how important Gilad is and help us.
At the Western Wall we all wrote notes and I’m sure everyone asked for Gilad’s safe return home. Since this was a day before Yom Kippur it had a special meaning to address God on that day.
This issue is very important to me – I even have a flag with the inscription “Gilad is Still Alive” hanging from my window at home. I have a bracelet with the same inscription on my arm. I truly believe he will return. I think the government should do anything to get him back. Every Friday night on the Kiddush I pray for the release of Gilad Shalit and I hope it will happen soon.
Gilad – We love you and are waiting for you.
Gilad Shalit is Still A-L-I-V-E!