Berlin runners to race for Shalit
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Berlin runners to race for Shalit

BERLIN (JTA) — Some runners in the Berlin Marathon will highlight the plight of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

More than 400 participants in Sunday’s event have signed up so far to wear a light blue armband in his honor, according to Ron Segal, an Israeli film director living in Berlin who launched the initiative.

The aim is to have at least 1,183 runners — one for each day of Shalit’s captivity in Gaza as of Sept. 20. The band also will bear the number 1183.

Shalit was captured into Gaza by Hamas in a cross-border raid more than three years ago.

Runners may sign up for the action upon registering or by visiting the initiative’s Web site. Segal, 29, told the Bild online newspaper that the action was open "not only to Israelis or Jews but to people from around the world who want to run for his freedom."

Onlookers can show their solidarity as well by visiting an information stand on the day of the marathon.

Segal noted that Hamas has not permitted visits to Shalit by the Red Cross or any other medical or humanitarian organization.