Israel has gone a long way in negotiations with Hamas to release captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in an address to the Knesset on Wednesday afternoon. He stressed that though Israel would be willing to go even further, it would not agree to free prisoners who were likely to commit murder once more – be it in the West Bank or elsewhere.
Netanyahu said that while Israel had communicated this principle clearly in its latest counter-proposal to Hamas, it had not yet received an “official response,” contrary to various reports.
The prime minister also stressed that under his leadership, the government was taking many steps to “renew the face of the State of Israel and boost education, and will continue to do so despite the criticism and the foul language.”
Speaking after Netanyahu, Kadima and opposition leader Tzipi Livni harshly criticized the prime minister for failing to make substantial progress in foreign policy, peace negotiations or domestic affairs during his first year in office. She further accused Netanyahu of having risen to his post through manipulations and politicking.