Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded Saturday to reports that he was in favor of signing a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas, while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was holding up the deal, an allegation made by Gilad Schalit's grandfather, Zvi, earlier in the day.
A Defense Ministry statement said, "Contrary to reports, Minister Ehud Barak does not accept Hamas's stance in relation to the terms of the [Schalit] deal." The statement added, "As Defense Minister Barak has said many times in the past, every possible and suitable move should be taken in order to bring about the release of Gilad, but not at any price. Barak, the statement said, "sees the importance of continuing and finding a way to formulate a deal that meets Israel's basic demands."
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