Israeli protest focused on Shalit release

May 22, 2009 at 11:37 AM
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JERUSALEM, May 22 (UPI) -- Protesters in Jerusalem Friday said the Israeli government should not rest until it has freed Gilad Shalit, a soldier captured by Palestinians three years ago.

Carrying signs reading "Don't abandon him" and "Gilad is screaming for help yet the Israeli government ignores it," nearly 30 individuals demonstrated outside the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ynetnews said.

"I'm not telling my government what to do and whether to release terrorists or not, but I don't want my government to be indifferent," a protester identified only as Nechama said. "A person has been in captivity for such a long time and nothing is done to bring him back."

Shalit, a French citizen, was captured by Palestinian militants June 25, 2006, and ensuing negotiations by the Israeli government with Hamas to secure his release have been futile. Hamas is demanding the release of 450 Palestinians held by Israel.

"A soldier has been in captivity for nearly three years. We don't know where he is, what his condition is, and nobody visited him," protestor Orna Shimoni told Ynetnews of the detained soldier. "We also don't know what is being done for Gilad's sake. Our goal is to ensure that nobody sleeps well at night as long as Gilad is in captivity."

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