IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas in 2006
IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas in 2006. Photo by Archive
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A nationwide Gilad Shalit solidarity event is planned for today at 11 A.M., when organizers are asking all Israelis to stop what they are doing and stand in silence for five minutes - one minute for every year the kidnapped soldier has spent in captivity in Gaza.

The plan also calls for blocking key intersections throughout the country for those five minutes.

Organizers are asking cars to pull over to the side of the road, workers to leave their offices and stand by the roadside and people in coffeehouses to go outside and do the same. Three airplanes will photograph what is happening below, and organizers are hoping for intensive media coverage.

Altogether, they said, they expect two million people to participate.

Knesset members also plan to halt their work for five minutes as part of the campaign.

All work in the Knesset will cease at 11 A.M., at which point a siren will sound and an announcement will be broadcast over the building's loudspeakers. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin made the decision at last week's meeting of the Knesset presidium.

Noam Shalit, the father of the kidnapped soldier, said the nationwide solidarity demonstration is meant to show both the family and the country's decision makers that the public is behind the Shalit family's campaign to get the government to accede to Hamas' demands regarding a prisoner swap for Gilad.

"There's no doubt that this is an important event of support and solidarity, as well as a test of whether the public stands behind us," he said. "I hope the decision makers won't ignore the will of the people.

"This is an initiative by people we didn't know, and we weren't party to the move," he added. "But it turns out there are people who got up one morning and said they don't understand what's happening here and how the state goes on without managing to return a soldier after almost half a decade, when he is only a few kilometers from the southern border of Israel and is being held by a few terrorists."

Gazan's family: Abducted by fake security guards

The family of a Gazan engineer who went missing in Ukraine over a month ago say he was kidnapped while riding a train to Kiev by people who presented themselves as security guards.

Western media outlets later reported that Derar Abu Sisi had been arrested by the Shin Bet security service.

The same outlets reported Abu Sisi, who served as a senior engineer at the Gaza power plant, was also active in Hamas. The details of the affair are still under a gag order.