Netanyahu’s Office : Hamas hasn’t answered Shalit offer for over a year

Noam and Aviva Shalit meets Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sara Netanyahu

ISRAEL, April 21, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / JPOST / ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) — In response to harsh letter from captured soldier’s grandfather, Netanyahu’s office accuses terror group of stalling negotiations to secure prisoner exchange deal.

Hamas has not responded to Israel’s most recent offer for a prisoner exchange deal to free captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit for over a year, the Prime Minister’s Office announced in a statement released Thursday.

In response to scathing criticism from the soldier’s grandfather in a letter publicized earlier in the day, the PMO said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is in constant contact with captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit’s family, and feels their pain.

Zvi Schalit had charged that every time the media discusses Gilad, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu invites the soldier’s parents, Noam and Aviva Schalit to a meeting that does not yeild any results. In his letter, he also accused Netanyahu of cruel cynicism.

The PMO statement, cited by Israel Radio, stressed that while efforts to secure the soldier’s release are continuing, Hamas’s failure to response to Israeli offers proves that the terror group does not intend to make a deal.

The PMO statement also stressed that Netanyahu is also responsible for the security of all Israeli citizens, and pointed out that dozens of Israelis have been killed in attacks carried out by terrorists freed in previous prisoner swap deals.

In a Thursday afternoon interview with Israel Radio, Zvi Schalit noted that no signs of life had been received since a September 2009 video tape released by Hamas. He claimed that “the prime minister has no information on Gilad’s condition.”

The interview came a day after activists working to bring Schalit home said that they would consider changing their tactics and adopting a more political approach if they do not see results by the end of the Pessah holiday.

Zvi Shalit, grandfather of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit’ Grandfather : PM Not Helping

As reported by Israel National News on Thursday, in a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Zvi Shalit, grandfather of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, said that he felt the government was doing nothing to free Gilad. Each time it seems that progress is being made in the release of Gilad, Mr. Shalit wrote, Netanyahu invites Gilad’s family over for a talk that ends up having no positive result.

Zvi Shalit has said that a deal to free Gilad had been all but wrapped up a year ago, but that Netanyahu intervened and broke it up. He wrote that Netanyahu’s refusal “to pay the known price for the release of Gilad is a death sentence for him.”   (*)


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