PMO: Efforts to bring Schalit home continue at all times

PM's office responds to calls from former heads of Shin Bet, Mossad; says Netanyahu also responsible for the safety, security of all Israeli citizens.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 11, 2011 22:59
2 minute read.
Gilad Schalit

Gilad Schalit 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Prime Minister's Office responded on Monday night to calls from former heads of intelligence agencies which called for the immediate release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit and said that "efforts to bring home Gilad Schalit safe and sound continue at all times."

"Over a year has passed since Israel has presented Hamas with the last proposal in the negotiations," the PMO said, "yet Hamas has not answered this proposal, suggesting that the other side has no intention to reach a successful agreement through negotiations."

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"Besides the tremendous commitment to bringing Gilad home, the prime minister is also responsible for the safety and security of all citizens of Israel."

Earlier Monday, former head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Yaakov Perry said, "it is possible to release murders as well" in a prisoner swap for the the release of Schalit.

Perry spoke at a press conference held by former officials in the defense establishment who expressed their support for the release of Schalit who has been held captive by Hamas for 1,751 days.

"The state of Israel is strong enough, in terms of its intelligence and military might, to take care of the 'murders with blood on their hands,' as they are called, if they so to happen return to terror activities," Perry said.

Former Head of the Mossad Danny Yatom also took part in the press conference and explained that the state must be committed to bring Schalit back.

"We have educated generations of soldiers that the state does not abandon anyone. If there was the option for an operation, we would have taken it, but time is working against Gilad," Yatom said.

"What we can achieve today, may not be attainable tomorrow. A risk exists, but it has been taken into consideration," Yatom added.

Other officials participating in the press conference included former heads of the Shin Bet Ami Ayalon and Karmi Gilon and former IDF chief of General Staff Amnon Lipkin Shahak.

A senior Hamas operative who was directly and physically involved in the kidnapping of Schalit was killed in an IAF strike in the southern Gaza Strip overnight Friday, the IDF Spokesperson said in an official statement on Saturday.

Tayser Abu Snima also held several major roles in the military wing of Hamas and was involved in other terrorist attacks against Israel, the spokesperson said.

Following the strike, Noam Schalit said that killing a senior Hamas official involved in his sons capture does not offer anything to the Schalit family and does not in any way bring his son's release any closer, Israel Radio reported Sunday.


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