noam and aviva schalit.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Noam and Aviva Schalit met with newly-appointed government coordinator of efforts to free Gilad Schalit, David Meidan, for the first time Tuesday evening.
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Netanyahu informed the Schalits of the new appointment at a late-night meeting last week. Meidan replaced Hagai Hadas.
During the meeting, the Schalits asked Meidan to pressure Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to advance negotiations for the release of the captured soldier.
Meidan is also expected to meet with Gilad's grandfather, Zvi Schalit, in the coming days.
Last week, Zvi wrote an open letter to the prime minister, accusing Netanyahu of cynically meeting with Gilad’s parents
, Aviva and Noam, before Pessah to create the impression of activity, when in fact nothing really was happening.
"Every time there is heightened media interest to freeing my grandson
Gilad, you invite my son Noam and my daughter-in-law Aviva for a meeting
without content, and which in the end causes emotional pain,” Schalit
Netanyahu responded to the accusation saying that he was responsible for
the security of all the country’s citizens, and that past experience
shows numerous Israelis were killed by terrorists released in previous
He also said that Hamas has not responded
to Israel's most recent offer for a prisoner exchange deal to free Schalit for over a year.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.