Freed Israeli soldier's father to enter politics

AP News
Posted: Jan 09, 2012 11:10 AM
Freed Israeli soldier's father to enter politics

An official from a centrist Israeli party says the father of a soldier freed in a lopsided deal with Palestinian militants is running for parliament.

A Labor Party spokeswoman said Noam Schalit notified the head of the party Monday that he will compete for a seat in parliament. The vote is scheduled for late 2013, but Israeli elections are often held early.

Hamas-allied militants captured Sgt. Gilad Schalit in a 2006 cross-border raid. Noam Schalit touched the hearts of many Israelis as he led a campaign for his son's release, staging demonstrations and meeting visitors in a tent outside the prime minister's residence.

Schalit was freed in October in exchange for 1,027 Palestinians.

Labor Party leader Shelly Yachimovich said she was "very happy" that Schalit accepted her request to run.