Remembering Gilad Shalit – 4 Years in Captivity, not forgotten

Gilad - 19 years old when abducted.

The campaign to free Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas and denied all human rights since he was abducted on 25 June 2006, has secured backing from senior Northern Irish politicians on a cross community and cross party basis.

David Simpson MP for Upper Bann was amongst a group of Ulster MPs who signed a petition calling for Shalit to be released.

Speaking after signing the petition, Mr Simpson said, “It is a scandal that the Hamas regime should have held this innocent young man hostage for so long”.

“In all of the voices raised to condemn Israel recently it was interesting to note that not one rushing to condemn Israel had a word to say about Gilad Shalit. I and my colleagues are pleased to support the campaign for his release”

The Belfast Newsletter pointed out: “Hamas has refused requests from the Red Cross to visit Shalit”.

The motion was proposed by Rev William McCrae MP and seconded by, amongst others, Mark Durkan of the SDLP. Amongst those signing are Ian Paisley Jr., Jeffrey Donaldson, Margaret Ritchie and Nigel Dodds.


NIFI circulated Birthday cards and badges to MLAs at Stormont on the occasion of Gilad Shalit’s 24th birthday – Gilad is still alive, help bring him home!


In the meantime, a protest on behalf of Gilad Shalit has been staged in Belfast City centre. Hundreds of leaflets were handed out. Amongst those attending was Nelson McCausland MLA.


A Northern Irish singer, who lived in Israel for nearly a decade, has recorded a song for Gilad Shalit and his family, to mark the fourth anniversary of his capture which took place on 25 June 2006.
Jim Clint worked as a maintenance manager at a hostel in Tel Aviv. Today back in Northern Ireland he is an educator for a Christian community which celebrates the Jewish origins of their faith. 
“Like everyone else I watched with horror the story of the Gaza flotilla and the on-going conflict between Jews and Arabs”, Mr Clint explains, “I have witnessed myself the aftermath of suicide bombing. I couldn’t help thinking that in all the waves of critiscism which is engulfing Israel at the moment no one was saying anything about a young Israeli in Gaza, deprived of every human right, and facing the most awful threats if his kidnappers don’t get their way”.
I wanted Gilad’s family to know that in a far away country like Northern Ireland there are people who have not forgotten Gilad and pray for his return to his family. Like millions of others around the world, I want to give the Shalit family encouragement and hope”.

Jim has his own recording studio at home and has sung to over 500 people at two recent meetings of Northern Ireland Friends of Israel. “My proudest moment was leading Hatikvah at Belfast synagogue at a NIFI meeting at which over 300 attended.”

Thanks to Jerusalem resident Elchanan Berkovitz, Gilad Shalit’s family have listened to Jim’s song. Several thousand Israelis and supporters around the world have watched Elchanan’s Youtube video on Gilad which features Song for Gilad from Northern Ireland


Song for Gilad (Take a Little Time) – please click on the link OVER 10,000 VIEWERS FROM ISRAEL AND AROUND THE WORLD ON YOUTUBE ALONE

Let us stand together with our voices as one,
Crying out for freedom for this special son.
We cannot be silent nor turn away
So take a little time to pray…for Gilad.