Noam Shalit: 'Israeli government has no credibility' Special

Posted Nov 17, 2010 by Alessandro Di Maio
Noam and Aviva are the parents of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in 2006. Since months they are camped in front of Israeli Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem. Here a short interview to Noam Shalit.
Noam Shalit during an interview in the tent in front of the Israeli Prime Minister s residence in Je...
Noam Shalit during an interview in the tent in front of the Israeli Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem. Photo by Alessandro Di Maio, November 11, 2010
On June 25, 2006 the 20-years-old Israeli soldier corporal Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas in a cross-border raid near Kerem Shalom and held as a prisoner in the Gaza Strip. Since then, the Israeli government and the International Community tried to reach a deal with Hamas for Gilad’s release but every attempts failed.
Hamas demands the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, 450 of these jailed for violent attacks on Israelis, but the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuses to release top Hamas leaders.
In June 2006, for the 4th anniversary of Gilad’s capture, his parents, Noam and Aviva Shalit, decided to leave their house in the north of Israel and make a pilgrimage march to Jerusalem. Since then they are camped in front of the Prime Minister’s residence to pressure the whole government into striking a deal for Gilad’s release.
Mr. Noam Shalit how do you feel after 1600 days without your son?
I feel bad. After so many years without my son I feel very bad. I feel that the Israeli government and the Prime Minister don’t have anymore credibility to bring back our son.
In 2006 you said that you believe in the State of Israel and in the government to negotiate and bring back home your son. What do you think about this today?
Well 2006 was long time ago. It is the past. Now we are almost in the 2011.
So you don’t believe any longer in the government?
No. I believe that the mandate of the Prime Minister is to bring back our son. This is his decision, he should make decisions, even if they are difficult decisions. I am sure he [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] can not ignore this protest, he can not ignore thousands of people coming here every week to show their support and solidarity. They are shamed, we all are shamed by the fact that the Israeli government is not able to bring back home soldiers that it sent to the missions.
It seems sometimes that the Israeli government claims that to create such a publicity is contra productive for the negotiations?
Two governments failed in every attempts to bring back Gilad. So we have not any other choice to stay here and demand the immediate release of our son. Of course the government will say that it is contra productive because it is very convenient for the government and the Prime Minister if we will seat quite at home and wait.
I would like to mention also that Hamas is committing a war crime. Taking as a hostage for political interests is a war crime according to the International Law. They totally ignore all the human rights and every International conventions.
Are you daily or weekly updated from the government on the negotiations about Gilad?
Yes of course. We are updated but it doesn’t help because nothing happens.