Hundreds rally to show support for Gilad Shalit

By Candice Krieger, September 26, 2008

Attempts to raise awareness of the plight of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit intensified this week as hundreds in London rallied for his release.

Rally participants marched from Green Park to the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, on Sunday where Gilad's father Noam Shalit, Israel's ambassador to the UK Ron Prosor, and human-rights barrister Philippe Sands addressed the audience. There was also a performance from Israeli artist Ehud Banai.

The rally, entitled "Walking for Gilad, Walking for Freedom", and the sell-out theatre show, were part of a campaign by Gilad's parents, Noam and Aviva, to help free their 22-year-old son, taken captive by Hamas at a border crossing with the Gaza Strip in June 2006.

Amnesty International has been working with the Shalit family on the case. Mr Shalit met representatives from Amnesty on Friday and Sunday. An Amnesty spokesperson said: "Our concern is that Gilad Shalit be treated humanely at all times. We have met Hamas to raise our concern and we will continue to put pressure on Hamas to fulfil those demands. There is no reason that would ever justify them denying him Red Cross visitors."

Last updated: 4:42pm, September 25 2008