During a Hannuka visit to a Southern Command base on Monday evening, President Shimon Peres told Nahal Brigade soldiers that he was convinced "that Israel will do all it can to bring our son, captured IDF soldier [St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit], home safe and sound."
"We all feel as though the fate of one soldier is the fate of us all, the fate of the entire nation," said the president following a candle-lighting ceremony at the base.
Asked by the soldiers about the possibility of a deal to secure Schalit's release, Peres responded by saying that "There are disagreements within Hamas, between Hamas inside [Gaza] and Hamas outside [Gaza]. I have no doubt that Hamas outside [Gaza] has political ambitions which contribute to the arguments."
Amid controversy over Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision to expel the Har Bracha yeshiva from the hesder roster, Peres also addressed the issue of insubordination, saying that "an army without a clear, unambiguous chain of command will be unable to win when the time comes for war."