JERUSALEM, Israel - As an estimated 20,000 Israelis march toward Jerusalem with Noam and Aviva Shalit, parents of kidnapped IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a press conference to address the nation on the situation.
"Four years have passed since Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and the people of Israel are united in their desire to see him return safe and sound to his family, to his country," Netanyahu began.
"We all want his return. We all have a strong desire to see Gilad return to his parents, Aviva and Noam; to his grandfather, Tzvi; to his sister, Hadas; and to his brother, Yoel," he said.
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"The call to pay any price is a natural cry from the heart of any father, mother, grandfather, sister or brother. As a brother and son, I understand this cry from the bottom of my heart. But before me and before every prime minister in Israel, must also be the security of all the citizens of the state," Netanyahu said.
"The State of Israel is prepared to pay a heavy price for the release of Gilad Shalit but is unable to say 'at any price.' This is the truth and I state it here."
"We will continue to exert every effort, from up close and far away, both in and out of the public eye, in order to quickly return Gilad, who is beloved to us all. We will do this while steadfastly preserving the security of the citizens of Israel," he said.
"G-d willing, we will continue to have the restraint and strength of spirit to make the right decisions for the entire people of Israel," the prime minister concluded.