Noam, Aviva Schalit, Netanyahus 311.
(photo credit: Avi Ohayon / GPO)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed a new special envoy in the
Gilad Schalit affair Sunday night, making the announcement in a private
meeting with Schalit's parents, Noam and Aviva.
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meeting at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, Netanyahu told
the Schalits that David Meidan, a former senior Mossad official, will
assume the top role in efforts to return their son from Hamas captivity
in the Gaza Strip.
Haggai Hadas, appointed in 2009 by Netanyahu
to be the special envoy for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad
Schalit, announced last Wednesday he was leaving his position.
Following the meeting, Noam Schalit said that the prime minister told
him and his wife that efforts to free their son are ongoing, but without
results. He told Israel Radio that in the private meeting that lasted
over an hour, he and Aviva expressed their protest and frustration that
two governments in five years have been unable to bring their son home.
Earlier Sunday, Aviva and Noam Schalit and dozens of other protesters
demonstrated outside of the weekly cabinet meeting
in Jerusalem on
Sunday, demanding that the government advance efforts to release Gilad.
Ministers who arrived by car at the meeting were greeted by
demonstrators, who said they intend to stay outside of the government
compound until the end of the session.
Aviva Schalit was holding a sign that read: "Netanyahu, you don't have a mandate to kill Gilad," Israel Radio reported.
President Shimon Peres was scheduled to visit with the Schalits on Monday in a show of solidarity.