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Concert held for captured Israeli soldier

Concert held for captured Israeli soldier
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The parents of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit have attended a protest concert organised in the 23-year-old’s honour.

The event was held in a park a few kilometres from the spot where Shalit was taken by Palestinian militants in 2006.

It was staged as part of a push to put pressure on both Israel’s government and Hamas to agree a deal for Shalit’s release.

Conductor Zubin Mehta said the idea was to remember Gilad Shalit who has suffered for four years, without any one being allowed to visit him. “ We want to do something,” he said, “to push our government into doing something positive.”

Earlier Shalit’s family was joined by Israeli supporters on one side of the Gaza strip border, while dozens of Palestinians separately gathered on the other. Both sides called for an exchange of prisoners.

Israel is holding 7,000 Palestinians in jail and has agreed to release 1,000 of them in return for the young soldier. But negotiations have stalled over the government’s refusal to include those they describe as “top terrorists”.