Father of abducted soldier: Gov't not doing enough to free my son
During visit to Palestinians wounded in Beit Hanun shelling, Noam Shalit calls for talks to end the violence.
Noam Shalit, the father of kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, on Thursday criticized the government for what he called insufficient efforts to secure his son's release.
Gilad Shalit was abducted by Palestinian militants during a cross-border raid on his IDF base in June, and is thought to be held in in Gaza.
Shalit was speaking during a visit to Palestinian civilians wounded in the botched artillery bombardment of Beit Hanun, who are being treated at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.
He also called on the government to negotiate with the Palestinians in order bring an end to the violence.
Shalit said Wednesday that he was making the visit in order to express sympathy for those wounded in the terrible tragedy that had befallen them, and to wish them a speedy recovery.
He said he was unmoved by those who criticized him over the visit, which comes a day after a deadly Qassam attack on Sderot.
"Of course I also identify with the residents of Sderot and I am very sorry about what happened," Shalit said.
"Clearly violence begets violence and hatred begets hatred, and therefore both sides should stop the bloodshed and try to reach some kind of dialogue."
According to Shalit, he is following developments in the Gaza Strip with great concern.
Shalit declined to comment on claims by Hamas that Israel was responsible for delays in a prisoner exchange that would secure his son's release.
"This is another spin," he said, adding that he had received no new information from Israeli officials on talks over Gilad's release.