Noam Schalit: We know the price

Father of Gilad accuses PM of "drawing terror scenarios."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 1, 2010 19:19
3 minute read.
Noam Schalit speaking

Noam Schalit speaking 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

Noam Schalit responded to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech Thursday evening with a speech of his own, claiming that "even though [we] know the price of Gilad's release, [we] also know the price of abandoning a captured soldier."

In answer to Netanyahu's call to remember previous hostage exchanges, and the subsequent loss of life caused by the released terrorists, Schalit said Netanyahu was "trying to draw a terror scenario - as if things haven't changed in the last 25 years."

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"Gilad has been sitting in a Hamas basement for four years, and all Netanyahu can do is recycle the press conference by Olmert in 2009."

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Noam Schalit said that current and former military leaders have supported the exchange, and know how to deal with the threats.

Schalit thanked everyone who is participating in the "Freedom March", and said they will continue on to Jerusalem.

"Tens of thousands of civilians are walking with us in Jerusalem this week on this hard and exhausting [march], even though they know the price demanded for his release," said Noam Schalit. "They also know the price of abandoning a captured soldier. I turn to you, Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu to listen to the sounds of the crowd walking with us, and give them the power to decide this difficult decision, before it's too late."

Shimshon Liebman, head of The Campaign to Free Gilad Schalit and organizer of the "Freedom March" was also disappointed in the prime minister's speech.

In an interview with Channel 2 news Liebman said that he expected more from Netanyahu, considering the obvious public desire to free Schalit that the "Freedom March" has exhibited.

In response to the prime minister stating that their was a limit to the price he would pay for Schalit, Liebman said he wanted to hear Netanyahu say he would do everything he could to get Schalit back home. 

Liebman added that he believes that Noam and Aviva Schalit will accept the prime minister's invitation to come speak with him when the "Freedom March" makes its way to Jerusalem.

Negotiations to free Gilad Schalit failed because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu chose keeping his government coalition intact over freeing the kidnapped soldier, said a senior Hamas official in response to Netanyahu's speech , Israel Radio reported.

Imen Tah added in an interview with the BBC that negotiations failed because Netanayhu refused to release several prisoners that the Hamas demanded be freed in exchange for Schalit. 

Netanyahu's insistence on deporting freed Hamas prisoners to the Gaza Strip or abroad was an additional sticking point in the negotiations, according to Tah.


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