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Gilad Shalit - the fifth anniversary of his capture

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Josh Broide

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Efforts are intensifying for the release of Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit on the fifth anniversary of his capture by the terrorist organization Hamas. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel had accepted a German-mediated deal for Shalit's release, and was awaiting Hamas' response.

"This proposal was harsh; it was not simple for the State of Israel," Netanyahu said Sunday according to a statement released after the weekly Cabinet meeting.  "However, we agreed to accept it in the belief that it was balanced between our desire to secure Gilad's release and to prevent possible harm to the lives and security of the Israeli people.  As of now, we have yet to receive Hamas's official answer to the German mediator's proposal."

Mass rallies were planned this weekend in Israel, including a protest Saturday outside Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Caesaria, the Shalit campaign’s weekly protest in Jerusalem on Sunday and a 24-hour event at Herzliya Studios.

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