Gilad Shalit's father said in a letter to Ehud Olmert Tuesday that the prime minister was "responsible for the pact between the State and the IDF and for the family that sent its son to the army with the knowledge that he would not be abandoned".
In the letter, relayed shortly before the cabinet convened for a briefing on the deadlocked prisoner exchange negotiations with Hamas in Cairo, Noam Shalit said, "We demand that you bring Gilad home before the end of your term, despite the heavy price this entails.
"I am turning to you for the last time on behalf of my family, which is waiting for its son who is locked up Hamas's dungeons; 996 days have passed since Gilad was kidnapped during your tenure as PM. For nearly three years he has been abandoned in dark burrows, and those who sent him do not know what condition he's in. This letter is a prayer for my son. I am asking you – father to father – don't abandon my son Gilad."
Earlier, Olmert's special emissary to the negotiations in Cairo, Ofer Dekel, briefed the Shalit family on the talks. The Shalits fear the imminent regime change may hinder the efforts to free Gilad.
Speaking outside Olmert's official Jerusalem residence, Noam Shalit later said that "the current government will apparently not be able to bring Gilad back. The prime minister has failed in this regard."
Earlier Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Shas Chairman Eli Yishai said, "This government apparently will not successfully resolve the Shalit affair." On the same day his party is expected to sign a coalition agreement with Likud, one of the only ministers who will remain in the next government emphasized, "The next government is equally committed to bring Gilad home. This is its obligation, despite the expected difficulties."