Hadas steps down as PM's Schalit negotiator

Appointed in 2009 by Netanyahu as chief negotiator for the release of Gilad Schalit, Hadas says he will leave position due to family obligations.

April 13, 2011 21:20
1 minute read.
Captured soldier Gilad Schalit in video

Gilad Schalit in video 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)


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Haggai Hadas, appointed in 2009 by Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu to be the chief negotiator for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, announced on Wednesday he was leaving his position.

Hadas issued a statement saying that when he took over the job, he told Netanyahu that because of family obligations he could only do the job for two years. Those two years are now coming to an end, he said.

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Hadas said he would not leave the position, however, until a successor was found.

The statement said that over the last two years Netanyahu led an active policy, and many steps were taken to free Schalit, most of which cannot be revealed. He said that he fully supported the manner in which Netanyahu has dealt with the issue.

The statement came after Channel 2 reported that Hadas believed that there were means that have not been used, and levers that have not been activated, to bring about Schalit's release, but which would necessitate very difficult decisions.

Netanyahu's position is that he is willing to release a large number of terrorists, including those with "blood on their hands," on the condition that they go either to Gaza or abroad, but not to the West Bank. He has said repeatedly that his concern was that if released to the West Bank, these terrorists would attack both targets inside Judea and Samaria and inside Israel.

Channel 2 reported that Hadas met over the last two days with both the Schalit family and the German negotiator who has been negotiating between Israel and Hamas, and informed them of his decision.

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