'Key player.' Shalit (L) with Blair
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Noam Shalit: Blair promised to press Hamas

Father of kidnapped soldier meets Quartet envoy in Jerusalem, asks him to use his influence to advance prisoner exchange deal

Noam Shalit, father of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit met Thursday afternoon in Jerusalem with Quartet envoy to the Middle East, Tony Blair.


During the meeting Shalit asked Blair to work toward securing a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas that would see his son returned to Israel.


"The Quartet is a key player in the Middle East, and I asked Mr. Blair that, in addition to the pressure he is exerting on Israel to take humanitarian steps for the benefit of the Palestinians in Gaza, he also work diligently to advance the exchange deal and see to it that Gilad is set free from his horrible captivity," Shalit said following the meeting.


"We believe the Quartet has the means and channels – be they direct or indirect – to pressure Hamas."


According to the soldier's father, Blair assured him that he would work toward freeing Gilad and said that an exchange deal was also in the interest of the Palestinians in Gaza, "who have suffered greatly since the abduction."


"We have said in the past that the remaining days of the current government offer a window of opportunity to free Gilad. After that no one knows what will happen," Noam Shalit added.


Gilad Shalit was captured by Palestinian terrorists during a cross-border raid on an IDF base near Gaza on June 25, 2006.


פרסום ראשון: 02.12.09, 16:32
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