Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Viva Roma! Eternal City Grants Citizenship to Israeli Soldier Kidnapped and Held Hostage by Hamas

Viva Roma!

AP reports:

Rome has given honorary citizenship to an Israeli soldier kidnapped by militants linked to Gaza's militant Islamic Hamas group three years ago.

Sgt. Gilad Schalit's father, Noam Schalit received the honor at a city hall ceremony Wednesday.

A giant photo of the soldier hung in the piazza, with the words "Rome wants its citizen Gilad Schalit free" — words Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno repeated at the evening ceremony.

The city council voted to give Schalit honorary citizenship to coincide with Thursday's third anniversary of his capture by militants in a cross-border raid from Gaza into Israel.

Talks to trade Schalit for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israel have been unsuccessful.