Marking Three Years Since Gilad Schalit Was Kidnapped


0_61_shalit_giladThree years ago, Cpl. Gilad Schalit was abducted when a number of Palestinian gunmen launched a bloody cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip. Two IDF soldiers were killed in the incident, which ended after Schalit was dragged by his captors through a tunnel into the Gaza Strip. Today, Israel marks three years since that day, and three years since Gilad has seen his home. Speaking to Army Radio, Noam Schalit, the father of the abducted soldier, asked all Israeli citizens to mark the moment. “My wish, today, on the 25th of June, 2009, from every person in the state, man and woman, from children to the elderly, is to close your eyes for three minutes,” he told the station. “For just three minutes close your eyes and wait until those minutes pass, and during that time, try to think about what my son, Gilad, has gone through, a young man who is waiting with bated breath – not just three minutes, and not just three hours, and not even just three days, but is waiting in darkness and despair, mentally and physically tortured, to regain his freedom which was taken from him three years ago.”

Yoel Schalit chose to use the occasion to speak directly to his brother.

“Gilad, my dear brother, after three years in captivity I thought you might like to know a little bit about the things that have happened here,” he began.

“In the Beijing Olympics, the games you apparently sat and watched, Michael Phelps broke seven world records and won seven Olympic medals. Israel came back with a bronze medal in sailing, Maccabi Tel Aviv got to the finals of the Euroleague but lost to Moscow, and Spain won the European championship,” the brother continued.

“Thousands of discharged soldiers left to travel all over the world; you could’ve traveled with them,” Yoel said. “There are so many beautiful trails in this country, you walked them. Today in Israel there are 200,000 students, you could’ve been one of them. There are plenty of other things that happened and are still happening, and I’m waiting to tell you about them.”

Yoel Schalit then turned to the prime minister with a plea.

“Mister prime minister, I request from you, save my brother,” Schalit said. “Don’t abandon him to an unknown fate. Don’t wait for tomorrow, help Gilad today. Every day he is in captivity is a risk to his life.”

“Gilad is still alive and it is your responsibility and your duty to bring him home,” Yoel said.

{Yair Israel/JPost}


  1. what about baumel? its been 27 years since hwe was kidnapped. where was your article? where was your article when his father yona was niftar on shavuous never knowing what happened to his son?

  2. That was definitely an egregious omission, IMO too.
    And it’s why, when I urge people to say a kapital for Gilad ben Aviva I try to add, b’soch she’ar all the MIAs.