Gilad Schalit in uniform 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Defense Ministry Diplomatic-Security Bureau head Amos Gilad said
Sunday that Egypt is in a very strong position with Hamas following the
secure of a prisoner exchange deal to release Gilad Schalit.
an interview with Army Radio, Gilad talked about the timing of the deal
and said that it is hard to know what will happen next in the Middle
East and that a decision had to be made.
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Timeline of the proposed prisoner exchange
He stressed the fact the state and the IDF have a responsibility to bring soldiers back home under any circumstances.
"We had a mission, and that was to return to him home," the top defense official said.
said he was sure that the deal would go through without any
problems, but expressed the same concerns as the captured soldier's
father Noam. "I will only be convinced that Gilad has been returned when
we see him walking down the steps of his home," he said.
He explained during the interview that only formalities remain and the swap was expected for Tuesday.
asked if the same amount of prisoners [1,027] would be released by the
US if one of their soldiers was kidnapped, Gilad explained that the fact
that Israel has conscription means that the IDF if is obligated to
bring its soldiers back.
"We have no choice, we need to make
sure our soldiers return home," the defense official said. "We don't
need to look at what other countries are doing."
Sunday morning, National Security Council chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov
Amidror estimated that there was no reason that the deal to release
Schalit would encounter any delays.
Amidror said during an
interview with Army Radio that the prisoner exchange deal would only be
canceled "if the High Court intervenes or someone in Gaza goes crazy."
Amos Gilad and Amidror's comments came as the legal department in the President's Bureau began dealing with pardons for Palestinian prisoners
who are to be released in exchange for Schalit. If all goes according
to plan, Schalit will be returned to Israel on Tuesday after more than
five years in captivity.
announcement issued by the President's spokeswoman on Saturday night stated that
attorney Emi Palmor, the head of the Pardons Division in the Justice Ministry
was expected to deliver all the files pertaining to the prisoners listed for
release soon after the conclusion of the Sabbath. According to the statement the
files included recommendations by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman.
Greer Fay Cashman and Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report