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Israeli reservists demand Shalit release

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli reserve soldiers delivered a letter demanding the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The reservists, who protested Sunday outside the Prime Minister’s Office, gave the letter to the prime minister’s bureau chief, as well as a letter addressed to the prime minister’s wife letter written by Raviv Kurtz, the wife of a reserve soldier and a friend of Tammy Arad, the wife of missing navigator Ron Arad.

"It appears that the prime minister is unwilling to complete the necessary step to save Gilad Shalit’s life," the reservists’ letter read. "We call on you as citizens and soldiers aware of the Shalit family’s pain — restore Gilad his freedom."

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement following receipt of the letter.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu has instructed all security services and all professional elements to continue making every effort to bring Gilad back to his family and his people forthwith," the satement said. "In order for this mission to succeed, it is important to act — inter alia — with sagacity, patience, equanimity and iron nerves."

Shalit was abducted by Hamas in a cross-border raid and has been held in Gaza.

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