JERUSALEM (JTA) – Thousands of supporters accompanied the family of Gilad Shalit as it marched into Tel Aviv.
The march urging Israel’s government to bring home the captive Israeli soldier held in Gaza reached its midway point on Monday during a rally at Rabin Square.
The family visited the site of Shalit’s capture near the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza Monday evening. Israeli conductor Zubin Mehta led the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert in the soldier’s honor at Kibbutz Kfar Aza, located about three miles from the Gaza border.
The Shalits were scheduled to return to Tel Aviv later Monday night.
"Words, justifications, press conferences and explanations saying why this is difficult or dangerous don’t count," Noam Shalit said during the rally at Rabin Square. "What counts are results only. I call on you again and again, look at this mighty wave of civilians that follows us. That is the will of the people."
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and Meir Lau, the Tel Aviv chief rabbi and former chief rabbi of Israel, spoke at the rally.
Earlier Monday the protesters stopped in front of the Tel Aviv home of Israeli Defense Minsiter Ehud Barak. Barak’s wife, Nili Priel, spoke to the Shalits and then walked with them for one section of the march.
Tel Aviv experienced major traffic disruptions on Monday due to the march.