PM tells Schalits he's appointed new envoy to release Gilad

Noam Schalit expresses frustration to Netanyahu that 2 governments in 5 years have been unable to bring his son home; PM appoints former senior Mossad man, David Meidan to be special Schalit envoy.

April 17, 2011 23:09
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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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.

During the 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.

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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.

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