Defense Minister Amir Peretz. Criticizes
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Talks too much?
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
Defense Minister Amir Peretz stressed Wednesday morning during a tour of the Western Galilee, that information on the physical and health condition of the kidnapped soldiers should only be relayed to the captives' families.
Asked about recent statements by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and hints regarding the captives' condition, Peretz said that all details in the matter must remain confidential.
"Everything must remain classified, in order to obtain the best results," Peretz said. "Negotiations should not be conducted through the media. Any attempt to hold talks through the media is wrong."
"The prisoner exchange is not being planned through the media, and names and options should certainly not be discussed. Efforts need to be invested, and we have done so and continue to do so. Sometimes, when you talk less you do more," he stated.
Peretz concluded by saying that, "Our obligation is to return the soldiers home. This is a principle that stands above all others."
During a visit Tuesday to the town of Kiryat Malkachi, south of Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared that the working premise was that kidnapped soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are still alive.
Talking to reporters, Olmert referred to the statement he made Monday, according to which the war in Lebanon was stopped because "we didn’t know if the soldiers are alive," and explained that it was a misunderstanding.
Eyal Regev, brother of kidnapped soldier Eldad Regev, said Wednesday that he and his family fail to understand Olmert's recent statements and their purpose.
He said that later in the day, the captives' families plan to meet with representatives of the Organization for the Release of the Kidnapped Soldiers and formulate their stance regarding the PM's words.
Regev asked not to comment on Peretz's statement.