Noam Shalit will convene a news conference at an East Jerusalem hotel this week as part of a public relations campaign aimed at rallying Arab and Palestinian support for a prisoner swap with Hamas.
Shalit's message, which will mark 1,500 days since his son Gilad Shalit was taken captive by Gaza-based Palestinian gunmen in a cross-border raid, coincides with the coming of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. He will appeal to Palestinians to apply pressure on the Hamas leadership in Gaza and Damascus to accept the agreement outlined by the German mediator involved in the negotiations and bring the Shalit saga to an end.
Noam Shalit will urge Palestinians to support the deal so that the 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails can return home in time for Id al-Fitr, the festive holiday marking the end of Ramadan. In past years, Shalit has also used the occasion of Ramadan to directly appeal to the Palestinian people as well as Hamas leaders to allow humanitarian visits his son. Earlier this year, the father of the captive IDF soldier addressed a letter to Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshal in which he urged Meshal to accept Israel's prisoner swap offer.
The Shalit family is scheduled to appear outside the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem today, where they will remain until the end of the weekly cabinet meeting. Last night, the family participated in a rally near the Rishon Letzion municipality building.
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