Noam Schalit: Gov't hasn't pressured Hamas in 5 years

Captured soldier's father says as long as no pressure is put on Hamas, it won't be in a hurry to free Gilad; urges public to get involved.

July 1, 2011 15:33
1 minute read.
Noam and Aviva Schalit [file photo]

Noam and Aviva Schalit 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

Since Gilad Schalit was kidnapped five years go, the government has not put pressure on Hamas to release the captive IDF soldier, Noam Schalit said on Friday.

The soldier's father made the comments Friday during a visit to Arad where he met with the family of Hanan Barak, Gilad's commander, who was killed during the raid in which Hamas kidnapped Gilad.

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Schalit said that his family wants the public to involve itself in the struggle to free his son because in the five years since Gilad was kidnapped, the government has not put pressure on Hamas to release him. If it has, he added, it folded almost immediately, Israel Radio reported.

The soldier's father pointed out that the Netanyahu government is continuing in the same path as previous governments, and therefore Hamas has no reason to hurry a prisoner exchange deal with Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently said he had agreed to a prisoner swap proposed by German mediator Gerard Conrad, which Hamas rejected.

Criticizing Netanyahu from a different angle, National Union head Ya’acov Katz said the prime minister "surrendered when he agreed to release arch-terrorists." Katz added, "The State of Israel hasn’t done one percent of what it can do to bring about Schalit’s release... The family, in its desire to get their son free, should not lead the country to insanity. Noam Schalit can form his own party and run [for public office] if he wants."

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