Gilad Shalit's Parents: We Will Not Give Up

Gilad Shalit's parents, Noam and Aviva, write a personal letter to their son ahead of his 25th birthday, his fifth one in captivity.

Elad Benari, Canada,

IDF soldier Gilad Shalit
IDF soldier Gilad Shalit
Israel news photo: screenshot of Hamas video

This coming Sunday, August 28, marks the 25th birthday of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It will be the sixth birthday Shalit will be spending in captivity.

Shalit’s parents, Noam and Aviva, who have been living in a protest tent outside the home of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for a year, published a letter to their son on Thursday ahead of his birthday. Portions of the letter are presented here:

Our dear Gilad, in the blazing sun above, on the sidewalk near the home of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, we try to digest the fact that 1,890 days have passed and you are still not with us. For over a year we’ve been here on the sidewalk, trying with all our might, by any means available, to break the wall of indifference that is between us and those who are still not convinced that after so many days, months and years, after so many mistakes, after all this incompetence - it is time to bring you back home.

We’re here. We did not give up, we did not break, and we are not alone. Our dear Gilad, many people you do not know and have never met think like us, that it cannot be that when we speak of social solidarity and national strength and strength and faith in the country, we abandon you to your fate, abandoned in the cellars of Hamas for more than half a decade.

Last summer, tens of thousands of people marched for you, believing that it will move the process of your release. This summer tens of thousands of people marched the streets calling for social justice, the public right to live and earn a decent living, and we and many others have included in this call a demand for your right to live, your right which is so basic and human - to have freedom.

Our dear Gilad, we know that every day that passes is another nightmare, a day of impossible suffering, days and nights of suffocation and loneliness. But you have to believe that we have not forgotten you and we do not forget that this Sunday you will be 25 years old, and that this is your sixth birthday in captivity, and that you have “spent” over a fifth of your young life imprisoned in the Hamas cellar.

We know you do not understand why this nightmare is not yet over, and why our many efforts have not borne fruit. We’re trying to hold onto life in spite of the fact that our lives changed dramatically. Your brother, Yoel, recently finished his studies at the Technion and your younger sister Hadas is currently finishing her army service. Although these events are supposed to be happy, we’re sad because all those things are being prevented from you.

Each time they try to bring us new hope that there is progress in negotiations, but every time we see how hundreds and thousands of security prisoners are released from Israeli jails, how money continues to flow into the hands of those who imprison you so cruelly for years, how the conditions of Hamas prisoners (yes - the same cynical organization that holds you as a bargaining chip) are improved, and nobody can really change that despite much talk. And our hearts are heavy. Until when?

But we do not despair, and you must hold on because we must find a way to get you home, soon, tomorrow!

With love and endless longing,

Mom and Dad

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)