Families of kidnapped soldiers to travel to Paris

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
A delegation of members of the Goldwasser, Regev, and Shalit families is on its way to Paris in order to raise public support in France, which could influence Hamas and Hizballah to prove signs of life and ensure the safety of the three kidnapped soldiers.

The delegation will be accompanied by Gen (Ret) Uzi Dayan and Chairman and President of Rekah Pharmaceutical Group Mordechai Elgrabli. The idea for the trip was initiated when the two had visited the Goldwasser and Regev families last week.

Since France has a special connection to Lebanon, and since the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit is a French national, it was decided to take this route in an effort to influence the kidnappers.

The visit is in coordination with Israel’s Foreign Ministry and with the Jewish Agency in France. The delegation will meet with the head of the Socialist party in France, the head of the Jewish Community, Paris’s Chief Rabbi, President of the European Jewish Congress, French administration officials, human rights organizations, and the International Red Cross.

Today the delegation will hold a press conference and will arrive at the Great Synagogue in Paris.

Jewish communities in Great Britain, Belgium, and Sweden have already expressed support for the delegation and will assist in the efforts.

The visit to Paris is organized by the Jewish Community and the Siona organization headed by Roger Pinto which will host the families. El Al has agreed to fund the delegation’s flights to France.

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