Photo Essay: Gilad Shalit Protest at Prime Minister's Residence
Youth block road near Prime Minister's residence with banners and flags calling for release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
By Ben Bresky
First Publish: 3/13/2009, 2:47 PM
Friday afternoon during rush hour, near the official Jerusalem residence of the Prime Minister, young Israelis protested and called on the government to free Gilad Shalit. At one point, they filled the street blocking traffic for about 5 minutes.
Hundreds fill the street with signs and banners on the corner of Daniel Auster Street and Rambam.
Young people chant and yell. The banner reads "Save Gilad Now." The flag bears a picture of Gilad Shalit.
The handwritten sign reads "HaAm Im Gilad" - "The nation is with Gilad." The sign in the back notes the number of days Gilad Shalit has been held captive.
One of the many banners hung on the walls on Rambam Street in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem near the official residence of outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Young people sit in front of a banner with hand written messages to captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit who was taken by Hamas in a border raid near Gaza in 2006.
The protest was organized the by National Union of Israeli students. The banner reads "The students are waiting for Gilad Shalit."
The event was run by high school age students just a few years younger then Gilad Shalit at the time of his capture. They chanted slogans and waved flags. Some blew whistles and beat on 'darbouka' hand drums.
The police kept the crowd back on the sidwalk but allowed them to move into the middle of the street for about 5 minutes. Traffic was stopped on the moderately busy side street near the center of the city and began flowing again when the police moved the crowd back onto the sidewalk.
Passers-by read and tape notes to a board. In red letters in the middle of the board is says "where are you, child?"
A man signs a petition. Also on the table is a basket of yellow ribbons and CDs.
The wall of notes with a photo of Gilad Shalit.
The web site on the banner habaita.com means homeward. The other banner said "Gilat Shalit chai", meaning Gilad Shalit lives. It is still unknown whether or not Gilad Shalit is actually alive.
"Gilad, we're waiting for you at home."
The man's handwritten poster says "The nation is with Gilad. Help!"
Photographers from the media and others stand on the wall taking photos and videos.
A young man in the lower left hand corner chants into a megaphone. Activists and family members have a tent on the sidewalk which is usually manned by a couple of people.
The young people wear yellow ribbons.
A banner with handwritten messages including the word "home", Jewish stars, a peace sign, hearts and in English at the top, "We will do anything for you to come!"
All photos by Ben Bresky for Israel National News.