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Shalit. Nothing new Photo: Ido Becker
Shalit. Nothing new Photo: Ido Becker

Noam Shalit says Olmert gave him no news on progress

Kidnapped soldier's father comes out empty handed from meeting with prime minister. 'I have a very bad feeling,' he says

Roi Mandel
Published: 06.02.08, 15:06 / Israel News

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met Monday morning with the father of kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, in the midst of the attempts to reach a truce in Gaza and several hours before leaving for Washington.


Noam Shalit told Ynet that he left the meeting with a bad feeling. According to Shalit, "My impression from this meeting is very difficult. We didn’t hear anything new from the prime minister and he couldn’t tell us about any progress being made."


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The Israeli government has stressed in meeting with the Egyptian mediator, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, that any truce deal with the Gaza Strip's terror organizations, must include Gilad Shalit's release.


Noam Shalit said Monday, "It has been nearly two years (since the kidnapping) and nothing is seen in the horizon. We expect news and expect this affair to end, but at the moment we see nothing new that will bring back Gilad."


Shalit recently sent a letter to the prime minister, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in which he said it was unthinkable that a truce agreement between Israel and Hamas would not include a deal for his son's release.


"It is impossible that there will be any agreement with Hamas which will not include Gilad. This is simply inconceivable," Shalit added.


Addressing the attempts made by his family's French lawyers to enter Gaza and meet with Hamas leaders, Shalit said he was unaware of any progress being made on the matter.


Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's military-political department, recently returned to Israel following a series of meetings in Cairo in which he represented Israel in negotiations on a possible truce between Israel and the Palestinian factions, mediated by Egypt.


During the talks, Gilad stressed Israel's demand that complete calm prevail in Gaza prior to any ceasefire agreement. During this stage the terror groups will commit, under Egypt's supervision, to prevent the smuggling of arms, money and terrorists from Sinai into the Strip. In return Israel will refrain from launching a broad military operation in Gaza.


During the second phase, Israel will reopen the Rafah crossing and allow the movement of goods and people between Egypt and Gaza in return for significant progress on a deal to release Gilad Shalit.


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