Rally to mark 1,600 days since Gilad Shalit kidnap

Noam Shalit changes a ticker from 1599 to 1600 days of his son's captivity by Hamas (Photo: Demotix)

Noam Shalit changes a ticker from 1599 to 1600 days of his son's captivity by Hamas (Photo: Demotix)

A rally is to be held in Washington DC today marking 1,600 days since Gilad Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas.

Organisers are hoping to attract at least the same number of people to the humanitarian rally for the soldier, who has been in captivity since June 25 2006.

His parents, Noam and Aviva Shalit, have been camped outside of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem since June, in an attempt to pressure the government into striking a deal for their son’s release.

The Israeli ambassador to the UN, Michael Oren, is due to speak at the event on Washington’s National Mall.

Eliot Engel, New York Congressman, will also address the crowd.

He said: “I am proud to lend my voice to this cause.

“Hamas has denied him the most basic human rights for too long and has even prevented the Red Cross from visiting him.”

Mr Engel added: “I am hopeful this peaceful display of support for him and his family will bring needed attention to this situation.

The rally has been organised by the Zionist organisation of America.

During a visit to Israel last week, Foreign Secretary William Hague told the soldier’s parents that the British government “will not forget Gilad".

    Last updated: 1:24pm, November 12 2010