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(photo credit: Knesset Web site)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered Intelligence Affairs Minister Dan Meridor to be in charge of the Gilad Schalit dossier, Channel 1 reported Monday evening.
Schalit has been held by Hamas in Gaza for more than three years.
Netanyahu offered Meridor the dossier after the previous man in charge of efforts to release Schalit, Ofer Dekel, decided to step down. Meridor was reportedly considering the offer positively.
Earlier, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said "Ofer Dekel's replacement will be appointed in the coming days. I believe that we will continue in our efforts to return Schalit and I still maintain that the less said in public about the matter, the better it will be for the success of efforts to bring him home.
Dekel has been on top of the Schalit issue for over two years and postponed his resignation only because of former prime minister Ehud Olmert's request that he continue in his position until after the elections.
In the interim since Dekel resigned, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) chief Yuval Diskin filled the position. Dekel himself recommended that a Shin Bet official be appointed to the position.
Two weeks ago, Noam Schalit, Gilad's father, asked all groups acting for the return of his son to give Netanyahu "100 days of grace" and avoid protesting at least for the beginning of the government's term.