Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped on the Israeli side of the Gaza border by Hamas terrorists in 2006, will be named an Honorary Citizen of the City of Pittsburgh Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 10 a.m., in a special ceremony in City Council Chambers (Fifth Floor of the City-County Building, 414 Grant St., Downtown). Councilman Doug Shields authored the Honorary Citizen Proclamation.
The community is welcome, and encouraged to participate, in a show of support for Shalit and the people of Israel.
Shalit was on routine patrol duty when he was abducted during a period of relative calm on the border. Hamas has since used him as a bargaining chip in its play for the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Hamas has refused to let the International Red Cross visit the abducted soldier and has not provided any indication that he is still alive in nearly two years.
The Honorary Citizen proclamation is the most recent in a series of actions undertaken by the Jewish Federation’s Community Relations Council to raise awareness about Shalit’s plight. CRC is the arm of the Federation that coordinates Israel advocacy and builds Jewish community relations with public officials and interfaith leaders.
Shields, who once lived on a kibbutz, set the Honorary Citizenship ceremony on the week of Gilad’s 25th birthday, the fifth straight birthday that the Israeli soldier will have spent in captivity.
CRC is also promoting the What Gilad Missed campaign of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, urging Pittsburghers to visit www.whatgiladmissed.org and engage in the suggested action items found there.
For more information about the Aug. 30 ceremony or about CRC, please contact Director of Community and Public Affairs Jeffrey Cohan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-992-5234.