Gilad Shalit's Brother: Don't Despair, You Will Not Be Forgotten

In new letter, handed to Red Cross's Mideast chief in Geneva, brother of abducted IDF soldier writes of family's continuing efforts to secure his release.

Yoel Shalit, brother of abducted Israel Defense Forces Gilad Shalit, handed over a letter addressed to his brother to a senior Red Cross official on Tuesday, during a meeting between the two at the organization's headquarters in Geneva.

Yoel Shalit at Red Cross Israel– 28.9.2010

In the letter, Yoel Shalit writes to his brother of their family's efforts to bring about his release, including the protest tent the family erected opposite the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem: "Everyone is waiting for the day you will return to us, we ask you to hold on, watch yourself, and be as strong and as healthy as you can be until we can bring you home."

"There'll be a real fuss waiting for you when you return. Everyone wants to meet you, know you, feed you and have you over," Yoel writes, adding that "obviously your room in Mitzpe Hila is waiting for you and you can have all the time in the world to do whatever you want."

Speaking of Gilad and Yoel's parents, the older brother wrote: "Mother and father have been sitting in the protest tent for a few months in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence, and they're visited by hundreds of people from all over the world every day."

"People have left their homes, jobs, and lives to assist in our struggle and they are spending all of their time in supporting and helping the many activities," Yoel writes, adding that "every one of them is looking forward to getting to know you when you return. Don't despair, you will not be forgotten. A better more fulfilling life awaits you."

During the meeting between Yoel Shalit and the head of the Red Cross' Mideast region Beatrice Megevand-Roggo, Shalit expressed his hope that the missive would reach its destination, after a similar letter which was handed to the Red Cross failed to do so.

In the meeting, which was also attended by Yoel Shalit's girlfriend Ya'ara Winkler and Calev Meyers of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, Yoel inquired whether or not it was possible that his brother would receive Red Cross visits, as Hamas has rejected such visits until now.

Megevand-Roggo responded that the organization does not have any contact with Hamas, but promised to make sure that letter reaches Gilad.