'If Hadas had hope, he wouldn't have left position'

Gilad Schalit's uncle says "a person who has worked so hard, would not have asked to leave his position" if he had hope to look forward to.

April 20, 2011 13:26
1 minute read.
The Schalits meet with the Netanyahus in J'lem

Noam, Aviva Schalit, Netanyahus 311. (photo credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO)


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The uncle of kidnapped IDF solder Gilad Schalit, Bezalel Raz, adressed the resignation of mediator Haggai Hadas, saying that a person who sees the light at the end of the tunnel would certainly stay at his post.

"If a person who has worked so hard would have had any hope to look forward to, he would not have asked to leave his position," Raz said. "The government did not give him room to work in."

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In an interview on Army Radio, Raz commented on pictures which showed the Schalit family spending their Pessah Seder sitting on the sidewalk in front of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem.

"I saw Aviva's face, sitting like a peddler for the fifth time without celebrating the Seder. I call on the prime minister to take action," Raz said.

Deputy foreign minister of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip told Army Radio that he is unaware of the reported appointment of a new mediator and that there has been no progress in the negotiations for the release of Gilad.

"I only heard about the reports from the media," Hamad said.

The head of the group fighting for the release of Gilad Schalit, Shimshon Liebman, said he did not expect any progress from the Schalits' meeting with Netanyahu on Thursday.

"I did not have any expectations for the meeting with Netanyahu; Noam and Aviva attended out of respect for the hosts," Liebman said. "Once all the options have been exhausted, one question remains: whether the prime minister is prepared to bring Gilad Schalit home and pay the necessary price."

Liebman threatened to intensify the protest.

The English-language website of the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported on Tuesday that a new European mediator had been appointed to replace Gerhard Conrad of Germany.

A spokesman for the Schalit family said it had not been informed of such an appointment.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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