Shalits Prepare to Mark Gilad's Fifth Birthday in Captivity

The family of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and the campaigners for his release will mark his fifth birthday in captivity tomorrow. Shalit will be 24 years old.

Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Orit Noked, MK Dalia Itzik, Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Ada Yonath and other public figures are set to attend a ceremony in the family's protest tent outside the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem.

Shalit's mother Aviva this week called for the wives of ministers and MKs to attend as well, but has so far received no answer.

The campaign organizers have also called on the wider public to attend the birthday ceremony and to demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bring Shalit home.

"This will mark 1,525 long and hard days and nights since I've seen my son," Aviva Shalit wrote in a letter sent out to the wives of MKs and ministers earlier this week.

'Help me bring back my son'

"Not to see, not to hug, not to hear, not to smell him - to live in the great void and distress in our home in Mitzpeh Hila. I approach you with a humble request as a mother, as a sister, as a partner, as a woman, as a human being: Help me bring back my son," she said.

Tomorrow's event will be hosted by actress Yael Abecassis, and will include a performance by Yardena Arazi.