Gilad Schalit in video 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Knesset plans to hold a special session plenary session Wednesday to mark
the fifth anniversary of Gilad Schalit’s kidnapping, according to the office of
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.
Separately, the Knesset Interior Committee
will debate harshening the conditions of Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails,
Rivlin’s spokesman said, although he did not know the date of that debate. The
issue of Hamas prisoners was also raised in the Likud faction committee on
Last week, when the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy
Buzek, visited Rivlin in Jerusalem, the two men agreed that the European
Parliament would hold an exhibit this summer honoring the story Gilad wrote when
he was young, called When the Shark and the Fish First Met.
family published the story as a children’s book after Gilad was kidnapped by
Hamas while he patrolled the Gaza border with his IDF unit on June 25,
Yoel Schalit told Army Radio Monday that his brother’s release was
in the hands of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
“To think about what
is happening to him now – it’s inconceivable to me,” he said.
“I can only
imagine it in my worst dreams.”
Yoel Schalit said in the interview,
“We’ve been sitting in the protest tent outside the prime minister’s home for
nearly a year now, and the truth is that from the beginning we knew this would
be long process.
“We passed four seasons there, but unfortunately it’s
not up to us. It depends on the government and Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu,” Schalit added. “Every day I hope that our suffering – and Gilad’s
suffering – ends already.”
Deputy Head of Hamas’ political bureau, Moussa
Abu Mazrouk, dismissed claims that progress had been made on a possible prisoner
swap for Schalit.
The leading Hamas official, speaking from Damascus,
added that the Egyptian government has taken an active role in formulating a
prisonerswap deal following the failure of a German mediator, and that a deal
would include an exchange of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israel for
On Sunday, Channel 2 reported that France and Germany are
offering Hamas extra incentives, in addition to the release of approximately
1,000 Palestinian prisoners, in exchange for Schalit.
include easing restrictions on Gaza’s border crossings, as well as de facto
recognition of the Hamas government in Gaza, which would allow for European
investment in the territory.
France and Germany are working with Egypt on
the deal, according to the report.