Gilad Shalit's parents mark 1,500 days

Aug. 4, 2010 at 7:43 AM
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JERUSALEM, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Nearly four weeks after they left their home to camp outside the prime minister's residence, Noam and Aviva Shalit called for a prisoner swap to free their son.

Marking 1,500 days since their son Gilad was abducted in a cross border raid and taken to Gaza where he has been held captive by Hamas, his parents held a press conference in east Jerusalem Tuesday.

They called on the Palestinian people in Gaza to pressure the leadership to release their son.

"We are asking that you pressure your leaders, just as we have pressured ours, to advance the existing deal to swap prisoners," Noam said, referring to a deal to free his son in exchange for the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israel.

A month ago, after holding a nationwide walkathon to raise awareness of their son's plight, the Shalit family moved to a tent outside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence where they vowed to remain until Gilad is freed.

Gilad's brother Yoel told reporters covering Tuesday's events, that 36,000 hours, 2.16 million minutes and 129.600 million seconds have passed since Gilad was kidnapped. He urged his brother to remain strong for just a little longer.

Gilad was on operational duty near the Gaza border when he was captured in June 2006.

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