shalit - Tomer Appelbaum - June 27 2011
Family and supporters of captive soldier Gilad Shalit outside the Prime Minister’s Bureau in Jerusalem marking five years since he was seized. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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Noam Shalit, whose soldier son Gilad has been held in Gaza for five years, implored Israeli lawmakers Monday not to flinch from contending with the possibility that Palestinian prisoners swapped to secure his release would return to terror upon gaining their freedom.

“If we do not know how to do contend with this possibility,” said Shalit, “we might as well return our identification cards and find another place to live.” He said that Israel's “failure to return Gilad is a matter for investigation,” and urged the Knesset plenum to investigate "this disastrous failure”, which he branded a “national badge of shame.” 

The Shalit family, along with the Knesset campaign for the soldier’s release, organized a petition in the Knesset to be sent to the prime minister. According to Noam Shalit, the letter is meant to “empower the prime minister to make the deal today instead of waiting another five years.”

Shalit’s parents also met with the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, former army chief Shaul Mofaz, who pledged his support for a far-reaching deal that would bring about Gilad’s release.

“We want to transfer the struggle for Gilad’s release to the Knesset”, said Mofaz, who lent words of support for the family's stance with his declaration that “the only way to return Gilad is through the return of terrorists and murderers.”

Gilad Shalit is currently held hostage by Hamas after being abducted five years ago by militants in a cross-border raid near the Gaza Strip. Israel has attempted at negotiating his release in return for Hamas prisoners currently held in Israeli prisons, although the talks have stalled due to Israel’s opposition to Hamas’ demand to release 400 prisoners previously involved in terror attacks against Israeli citizens.