'All efforts to be made for Schalit but not at any price'

Barak says demands Red Cross be allowed to visit captured soldier in Gaza, says land swap to be part of any future Palestinian peace deal.

May 11, 2011 00:57
2 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak

Barak speech serious 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Israel must make every effort to bring home captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, but not at any price, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday night.

Speaking at a Defense Ministry reception in Tel Aviv to mark Israel's Independence Day, Barak said he demands Hamas explicitly recognize Israel and called on Palestinians to follow conditions set forth by the Quartet peace plan.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Lieberman: Israel ready to renew direct peace talks
Mashaal: Schalit negotiations stalled; Netanyahu to blame

He said a condition he would add to the Quartet's plan would be "the demand obvious to all civilized people to allow, above all, for the Red Cross to visit Schalit in Gaza."

Commenting on Yoel Schalit and protesters' interruption Tuesday night at the torch lighting ceremony in Jerusalem during which the older Schalit called for the release of his brother, Barak said "There was no mistaking the heat of emotions that they were under. The heart is with them. But we need to maintain self control in public along the way, a way I hope and pray will be a short one."

During the reception, Barak also outlined Israel's conditions for a peace deal with the Palestinians, including maintaining settlement blocs and Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem.

He said the pre-1967 borders would be adjusted with land swaps that would leave the Palestinians with the same amount of territory, as they would have been expected to receive if there had been a full return to the 1967 lines.

For security reasons, the new Palestinian state would be demilitarized and Israel would need to maintain a presence in the Jordan Valley to ensure security.


It would also be clear to Palestinians that Israel is the homeland for the Jewish people, much like the new state of Palestine would be for the Palestinian people, Barak said.

Israel has always known that it would have to take courageous steps for peace, he said.

Speaking about the recent unrest in the Arab world, the defense minister said that despite Israel's strength, "we have not reached peace and tranquility." He said that despite the long-term hopes for liberty, the short-term reality can be expected to be "difficulties alongside opportunity."

Barak also said that the relationship between Israel and the US was vital in maintaining security, and that the two countries should cooperate in order "to weaken the radical camp" and to fight known terrorists to ensure "stability in the region."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN