Noam Shalit Thanks U.S. Muslim Leaders for Their Efforts to Release Son Gilad

U.S. Muslim leaders yet to receive response to letter sent to Hamas requesting release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit.

Noam Shalit thanked American Muslim leaders in a New York meeting on Thursday for sending a letter to Hamas requesting the release of his son, Gilad, an Israel Defense Forces soldier who has been in captivity for five years.

Rabbi Marc Schneier hosted the meeting between Shalit and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, one of the 11 signatories of the letter sent to Hamas by prominent American Muslim leaders including Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson. The letter called for the immediate release of Gilad.

Michal Fattal

Shalit thanked the leaders for their solidarity and efforts to secure the release of Gilad, who is in his 1,902nd day of captivity.

The American Muslim leaders have yet to receive a response from Hamas, but both Rauf, Chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, and Congressman Carson, who spoke by telephone with Mr. Shalit during the meeting, said that they were committed to the Shalit familys cause, adding that they will continue to demand a response from Hamas.

"On the eve of the September 11th anniversary, it is most significant that American Muslims have reached out and championed this humanitarian cause on behalf of the Jewish people," Schneier said in the meeting.

Schneier, who is the head of The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and is involved in joint Muslim-Jewish initiatives around the world, was joined on Thursday by S. Daniel Abraham, philanthropist and founder of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East