Israel Marks Shalit's Kidnapping

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Thursday marked three years since Palestinian terrorists kidnapped Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Shalit was captured in a cross-border attack on an IDF outpost near the Kerem Shalom border crossing with the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian terror cell tunneled under the security fence to attack the base, where they killed two soldiers, wounded three and dragged Shalit into Gaza through the tunnel.

On the anniversary of the abduction, Gilad's father, Noam, called on Israelis to close their eyes for three minutes to remember his son.

"My wish today, on June 25, 2009, from every person in the state - man, woman, from children to the elderly - is to close your eyes for three minutes," Shalit told Army Radio.

"For just three minutes, close your eyes and wait until those minutes pass and during that time, try to think about what my son, Gilad, has gone through, a young man who is waiting with bated breath, not just three minutes and not just three hours and not even just three days, but is waiting in darkness and dispair, mentally and physically tortured, to regain his freedom that was taken from him three years ago," his father said.

Gilad's brother, Yoel, appealed to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"Mister Prime Minister, I request from you, save my brother. Don't abandon him to an unknown fate. Don't wait for tomorrow. Help Gilad today. Everyday he is in captivity is a risk to his life," he said.

"Gilad is still alive and it is your responsibility and your duty to bring him home," his brother said.

In the U.S., the city of New Orleans awarded honorary citizenship to Cpl. Shalit.

A petition submitted by Rabbi Uri Topolosky of Congregation Beth Israel asked the council to issue a proclamation in a show of support for the soldier and his family.

"Gilad's story is a symbol of the human element of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and must not be minimized as the global community strives to achieve peace in the Middle East," the council's proclamation read.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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