Schalit Family Tries to Get Rosh Hashanah Package to Gilad


0_61_shalit_giladThe family of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit plans to coordinate their rally at the Gaza border on Wednesday with relatives of Hamas security prisoners inside the Strip, in a bid to pressure Hamas to hand Gilad a Rosh Hashanah package from his hometown of Mitzpe Hila, in the Upper Galilee. Members of the Campaign to Free Gilad Shalit met with Palestinian activists at the Gaza border yesterday afternoon to plan details of Wednesday’s event.

It’s part of a new slew of activities on Shalit’s behalf that has been organized for this week by the campaign and the United Kibbutz Movement.

Wednesday’s rally was announced last night, in advance of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Cairo to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt has been mediating the indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas on a prisoner swap.

The London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported yesterday that Israel and Egypt will soon announce understandings that they have reached on negotiations for Shalit’s release, and on peace talks with the Palestinians.

The pan-Arab paper also reported that the prime minister’s point man on Shalit, Chagai Hadas, visited Cairo last week and met with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, hours after the latter met with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal.

Campaign to Free Gilad head Shimshon Liebman said last night he hoped that any positive rumors about Shalit’s release would be proved true.

But in the interim, the campaign is leaving nothing to chance. Tomorrow morning at 9, it will hold a short ceremony at Mitzpe Hila, after which a Rosh Hashanah package for Gilad from his family and neighbors will leave the community.

According to Yoel Marshak, who heads the United Kibbutz Movement’s special assignments division, the package will then travel slowly throughout the country before arriving at the Erez crossing to the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday.

One day earlier, on Wednesday, Gilad’s father, Noam, and supporters will rally near Kibbutz Nahal Oz on the Gaza border.

At the same time, the families of Hamas prisoners held in Israel will stage a rally in Gaza. They will then deliver 100 packages to the Schalit campaign designated for Hamas security prisoners.

Once the campaign is satisfied that Gilad has received his Rosh Hashanah package, it will ensure that the packages from the Hamas families are delivered to the prisoners, Marshak said.

In the past, the kibbutz movement has argued that Hamas family members should not be allowed to visit their loved ones in jail.

Marshak said the issue was reciprocity. If Gilad’s family cannot visit him, than the Hamas families should not be allowed prison visits either. But if Gilad can receive a package from his family, then the same should hold true for the Hamas prisoners, he said.

Hamas has demanded the release of at least 450 terrorists in exchange for Gilad , among them prisoners responsible for murdering Israelis.

{JPost/Yair Israel}


  1. Why couldn’t the Israelies find Gilad when they went into Gaza last year? They were there for quite a while. What happened to the great Israeli intelligence?