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Gilad Shalit Is Coming Home!
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I don't know how many of you know the story of Gilad Shalit. Here in Israel everybody knows who he is and what happened to him. Private Gilad Shalit was serving at the Israeli Defence Force when on June 2006 he was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. He was 20 years old. For five years he was held prisoner somewhere between the Gaza strip and Egypt. For the past three and half years Israel did not receive any sign from Hamas whether he was alive or not.

Yesterday, after long negotiations, both Israel and Hamas finally came to an agreement for his release. It was decided that Israel would release 1026 convicted terrorists in exchange of Gilad and onother israeli prisoner. Gilad's remarkable parents never gave up on him and fought with all their strength and means in order to get their son back. They traveled abroad and met with presidents, prime ministries, journalists, anyone who could help their cause. Almost two years ago they decided to move into a protest tent in Jerusalem and held a sit-in near the PM offices, with the intention to remind him everyday that they would never give up on him. Their biggest fear was that the government and all the Israeli people would forget about him.

Today, the family of Gilad Shalit returned to their home in Mitzpe Hila after more than a year in the protest tent in Jerusalem - this time to greet there Gilead, which is expected to return home in the middle of next week after more than five years in captivity in the Gaza Strip. The father Noam Shalit refused to speak with reporters and said: "We are pleased to go home and we will be even more when Gilad comes home, coming down the stairs. Then the circle will be closed after five and a half years. Thank you very much".

Together with the Shalit family also came to the head of the struggle to liberate Gilad Shimshon Liebman, and Azzam Azzam, who was eight years in an Egyptian jail. "I can not speak because my eyes are wet," said Libman, "It's just amazing, exciting. Five years have passed!" Liebman added: "I think it's a great gift, a few days after Simchat Torah, a huge gift to the people of Israel which brought up the value of friendship and abandonment".

In the afternoon hundreds of neighbors and activists which accompanied the family during the years of struggle came to visit the Shalit family including Mickey Goldwasser, who ran alongside the struggle to restore her son Ehud from captivity in Lebanon. "If I speak, I cry," she said, "I'm so happy for the Shalit family. We'll have to wait a few more days my heart flutters."

Moses Tzlik, who accompanied the family for years, said: "Over the years I've seen people Much better that its leaders. The struggle was not only the release of Gilad, but the values??, the value of not abandoning a wounded soldier and citizen in the field. "

My heart too goes with the Shalit family, who impersonated better than any else the great moral of the story of the widow and the king.  


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