Thousands rally for captive soldiers


Rallies were held worldwide for the release of Israel’s captive soldiers.

In Melbourne, Australia, more than 500 people turned out Monday for a demonstration capping a week’s worth of events aimed at raising awareness of the plight of Israel’s three kidnapped servicemen.In Israel on Sunday, hundreds of demonstrators opposite the Knesset called for their release, and on Saturday some 5,000 cyclists rode along Israel’s
northern Mediterranean coast to mark one year since the kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who was abducted by Palestinian gunmen outside the Gaza
Strip on June 25, 2006. Demonstrators at many of the events called on the Israeli government to do
more to secure the release of the soldiers.

“I appeal to the prime minister: Take
responsibility and make a difference, ignore the ephemeral considerations of
popularity and make the right decision today to bring about Gilad’s release,”
Shalit’s father, Noam, said in a speech opposite the Knesset. “Don’t protract our nightmare.”

The Palestinian Authority has said Shalit is alive and well but has offered no

Israel Defense Forces reservists Udi Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped by Hezbollah last July 12 along the Lebanon-Israel border in the incident that sparked last
summer’s war.

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