"I pray Gilad Shalit will return home nowadays, Amen. Tenacious efforts and hard work must be done, yet there are still disagreements with Hamas," the president added.
Asked if he had been requested to pardon Palestinian prisoners, Peres replied that he had not been asked to do such thing.
Peres also commented on the Goldstone report, saying that "Goldstone made 28 recommendations, yet none of them suggests how to resolve the terror attacks. It is unbelievable. I am very happy that the countries of the world postponed discussion of the report by six months, but it is still too soon to rejoice. This isn’t over yet."
Kidding around in the Sukkah (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef blessed the people of Israel, wishing them many fruitful and pleasant years, and expressing hope that everyone returns to their place of origin. Yosef also blessed President Peres, patting him fondly on his cheek.
The president responded to Yosef's blessing, saying he is "willing good relations between all layers of Israeli society; religious, seculars, Ashkenazim and Sephardim."
When asked about violence perpetrated by members of the Eda Haharedi in Jerusalem in recent months, the president said, "The Eda Haharedi is an extremist minority. Most haredim oppose violence and that includes the haredi bloc to which Rabbi Ovadia Yosef belongs."
Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai, who also visited in Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's sukkah, commented on the tape of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, saying his eyes filled with tears as he watched the tape.
"As long as he is not here with us, we have not done enough and will request the president to do more. There is not a nation like Israel that shows such mutual guarantee," said Yishai, adding that he doesn't think all details of the release effort should be made available to the public, but "we all pray it will happen very soon."