Participants in 45 nations will simultaneously rally on Tuesday for the release of two Israeli reserve soldiers being held by Lebanon's Hizballah terrorist militia and a third who is a captive of Hamas-aligned terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
The three soldiers - Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev - have been hostages of Israel's enemies for well over a year.
The global rally kicked off with a ceremony in Jerusalem on Sunday that was attended by some 3,000 Jewish students from around the world, reported Israel's Ynet news portal.
Jewish Agency Chairman Ze'ev Bielski, whose organization oversees the activities of the international Student Forum that sponsored the event, told the gathering that Israel's Islamic enemies are making cynical use of the fact that Jews and their supporters around the world care so much for the well-being of the abducted soldiers.
Together Hizballah and Hamas have demanded that in exchange for the three soldiers, Israel must release thousands of jailed terrorist killers, including those who personally participated in the brutal murders of Israeli men, women and children.
The United Nations has passed resolutions insisting that Hizballah and Hamas free the Israelis they are holding, but has taken no action to ensure implementation of its demands. In response, one of the 45 rallies to be held on Tuesday will take place outside UN Headquarters in New York City.