The parents of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit on
Wednesday met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in
Jerusalem. Gilad's father, Noam, said he did not receive any news from Barak about progress in the negotiations to release his son.
Shalit asked Barak to place the matter of his son's release in a higher priority. After their one-hour meeting in Barak's office concluded, Shalit said that "Barak is willing, but unable. (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu
is able, but is scared."
Noam Shalit, who meets with the defense minister frequently, noted the family will "continue to apply pressure and urge the minister to act more decisively by placing Gilad's matter in a higher priority."
In a conversation with Ynet, Shalit confirmed that he recently met with the Israeli representative to the talks for a prisoner exchange deal, Hagai Hadas.
Later on Wednesday, Noam and Aviva Shalit were scheduled to meet with Knesset Shaul Mofaz (Kadima)
and MK Miri Regev (Likud) at
the family's protest tent in Jerusalem.
Earlier this week, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton met the Shalit family and
told them she discusses Gilad's issue in all of her meetings.
However, Ashton also emphasized the need to "end the suffering of the public in Gaza," and noted that an improvement in the Gaza's situation would lead to an improvement in Gilad's situation.