Israelis attend rally to mark Shalit’s capture

June 26th, 2008 - 12:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv, June 26 (DPA) Hundreds of Israelis attended a rally in northern Israel to mark the second anniversary of the capture of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier being held in Gaza by Palestinian militants. “Free my son from this terrible captivity. Fulfil your obligation to the soldiers of the Israel Defence Forces,” the soldier’s father, Noam Shalit, urged Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from the rally Wednesday evening in Mitzpeh Hila, the soldier’s hometown.

Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid from Gaza on an Israeli military outpost near the Strip June 25, 2006.

He has since been held captive in an unknown location in Gaza. Indirect, Egyptian-mediated negotiations between Israel and the radical Islamic Hamas movement ruling Gaza have thus far led nowhere.

Hamas, which led the cross-border raid along with two other militant groups in which Shalit was captured, is demanding the release of hundreds of Palestinian militants from Israeli prisons in return for the Israeli soldier’s freedom.

The indirect negotiations on a prisoner swap including Shalit have been renewed, and are to be accelerated, as part of a truce agreement which took effect in the Gaza Strip Thursday last week.

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