JERUSALEM, Israel - Israelis nationwide stopped and stood on the street Tuesday morning at 11:00 in a five-minute solidarity demonstration for kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.
A Hamas-controlled terror cell kidnapped Shalit in a cross-border attack on an IDF outpost near the Kerem Shalom Crossing with the Gaza Strip on June 25, 2006. The terrorists killed two soldiers, wounded three and kidnapped Shalit.
Each minute symbolized one year that Shalit has been held captive. Hamas has not allowed the International Red Cross, family members or anyone else to visit him. Despite assurances by the terror group over the years, a letter and a video, his condition is unknown.
Organizers of today's demonstration asked drivers to pull over and people in stores and restaurants to come outside and stand together on the street.
Members of Knesset also stopped their routines to express their solidarity with Shalit's family, friends and the nation at large.
National Union MK Aryeh Eldad called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to expedite a bill that would deny family visits to Hamas prisoners, Israel National News reported.
"It is over a half year since the government agreed to pass the early reading of the law that will stop family visits to Hamas prisoners as long as Gilad Shalit has had none," Eldad wrote, according to the report.
"The government has tabled the bill and has prevented its advance to the next stages of passage into law. On the day the public is holding a vigil to keep Gilad's incarceration by Hamas in the public eye, it is incumbent upon us to move that law forward," he wrote.