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 Schalit mediator.

April 17, 2011 23:35
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 on Sunday appointed David Meidan to replace Hagai Hadas as the new mediator, who will work to broker a deal with Hamas to release captive soldier Gilad Schalit who has been held in Gaza for over four years.

Netanyahu informed Gilad's parents Noam and Avivia of the new appointment at a late night meeting he held with them and his wife Sarah at his Jerusalem residence.

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Meidan has held a senior position in the Mossad and has already been involved in efforts to secure Gilad's release. He was chosen out of a number of candidates. Before leaving his post, Hadas will work briefly with Meidan, so that he can bring him up to speed.

Hadas announced last week that he was stepping down once his two year term expired; a step he said he had always anticipated taking.

In a statement the prime minister released to the media after the meeting Netanyahu said that Israel continued to work in an invisible fashion to free Gilad.

Such activities will continue, Netanyahu said.

"I assure you that in the coming days and weeks we will continue to operate by all the means that we have to bring about the release of Gilad," he said.

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, which 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.

Noting that the prime minister's invitation suggested he would be provided with updates about developments in the efforts to return his son, Noam said: "Unfortunately, the only thing we heard about was the appointment of the new [mediator]." staff contributed to this report.

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