The lights of the Colosseum in Rome will be turned off Thursday evening in solidarity with kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
"This event is first and foremost an expression of our strong support for the State of Israel," said Riccardo Pacifici, the president of Rome's Jewish community.
A Kidnap Victim Held for Ransom -Bernard-Henri Levy
The fact that the Red Cross, which regularly visits Palestinians in Israeli prisons, has never been granted access to him is a flagrant violation of the laws of war.
But moreover and most of all: Shalit was not captured in the fury of a battle but during a raid in Israel, when Israel, having evacuated Gaza, was at peace with its neighbor. Shalit is not a prisoner of war but a hostage. His fate is comparable to that of, not a Palestinian prisoner, but a kidnap victim being held for ransom.
Israel Won't Free "Mega-Terrorists' in Swap -Herb Keinon & Tovah Lazaroff
Israel has made clear it would not release what it has called "mega-terrorists" - those responsible for some of the worst atrocities, including those responsible for the attacks in Jerusalem at Sbarro restaurant where 15 people were killed in 2001; the Moment Cafe where 11 were killed in 2002; Cafe Hillel where seven were killed in 2003; the Rishon Lezion attack where 16 were killed in 2002; the Dolphinarium in Tel Aviv where 21 were killed in 2001; and the Park Hotel in Netanya where 30 people were killed on Seder night in 2002.
Israel has made clear that these and other mega-terrorists would not be released because they would establish a "terrorist industry" wherever they were sent. Hamas, however, is demanding the release of these megaterrorists. They are also demanding they be allowed to return to the West Bank in order, according to Israeli assessments, to rehabilitate Hamas' military capabilities there.
According to Israeli figures, 45% of released terrorists return to terrorism.