Tri-State Area Jews Celebrate Pending Release Of Hostage Gilad Shalit

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas in 2006 and now his release is expected within days. That has the Jewish community around the world, and in the Tri-State Area, overjoyed.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

The area Jewish community held rallies and vigils marking his birthdays, making sure the now 25-year-old was never forgotten.

“It’s about caring for one another. It’s about community,” said Jason Shames, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, headquartered in Paramus. “In the end, I don’t know that I would declare it a state victory in that we’re giving up a tremendous cost for him, but since we value that human life and the fact that he’s being reunited with his family, it’s really almost a miracle.”

His organization is one of many planning welcome home celebrations for Shalit.

Shalit’s father Noam has become a well-known public figure in his push for his son’s release. He even visited New Jersey several times.

It was announced on Tuesday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Israel had reached a deal with Hamas to release about 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, many implicated in deadly attacks, in exchange for the release of Shalit.

How do you feel about the deal? Sound off in the comments section below!

More from Marla Diamond
  • sav'ta shel Cohen

    The world was silent for years and did nothing to have this young man released! Gilad’s captivity became a symbol of the world’s apathy towards Israel and the Jewish people but he became a symbol of the sense of community that exists between Jews and the ability of the Jewish people to never lose hope and of their reverence for life! One way or another Gilad had to be returned to his family, to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel. Now a way has been found to accomplish that but, on the surface, it does not seem very satisfactory. I have great faith in the resourcefulness and initiative of Israel and the many highly skilled and intelligent people who defend it. Whatever happens as a result of this deal Israel will deal with in its own time and in its own unique way – of that I am sure! Israel will now be free to exact justice upon those responsible for this despicable act of terrorism because Gilad will no longer be their hostage! I also know that Israel will use all the resources available to it to support Gilad in overcoming any damage caused by these cowardly captors!

  • Besalel

    Next time there is a war. god forbid, and the Arabs complain that Israel had killed thousands of them but they only managed to kill a few Israelis, know that it is the Arabs themselves who have decreed that one Jewish life is worth 1,000 worthless terrorists. In the future, Israel should impose capital punishment on terrorists captured in order to eliminate the temptation to kidnap Israelis.

  • propmgr34

    Not all Muslims are terrorists! Ignorance such as yours has no place in this country!

  • Meme Meyagi

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

    • LG

      Aight bro we get the point.

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