WASHINGTON (JTA) — The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives pledged to continue to fight for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), delivering Israel Independence Day remarks Wednesday at the party organized by the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said she would meet this week with Shalit’s father, Noam, and held up dog tags bearing the names of three troops captured in cross-border raids in 2006: Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.
Shalit was captured by Hamas and is believed to be alive and held captive in the Gaza Strip. The bodies of Regev and Goldwasser, captured by Hezbollah, were returned last year.
Talking about the tags, Pelosi said, "I will hold onto them as a symbol of the sacrifices made — sacrifices far too great — for peace and security for the State of Israel. And I will also continue my efforts and my prayers for Gilad Shalit.”
Speaking on behalf of the Obama administration was Lawrence Summers, who directs the White House National Economic Council. Summers praised Israel’s economic performance and said the Obama administration would work with Israel to press for peace.
“Not peace at any price,” he said. “Peace that protects the innocent, peace that ensures freedom, peace that gives no quarter to terror.”