Following various reports of progress in efforts to secure the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu warned Friday against believing "disinformation."
"We're reading a lot of things in the media, some are true, but others are disinformation," he said in an interview with Kol Hai Radio.
Benayahu also apparently ruled out a military option for Schalit's release.
"When there is a military option, it is carried out - if it isn't carried out, that means that it apparently isn't feasible or not very practical," he said. "At the moment, efforts are being made on the negotiation channel. I can safely say of the IDF and the intelligence community, and I believe the government, that no efforts are being spared over the issue."
Fox News reported Thursday evening that Israel had agreed to release 380 out of the 450 prisoners requested by Hamas in exchange for Schalit's release, and that negotiations between Israel and Hamas on the subject through German mediation were picking up.
Benayahu also blasted the recent protests by Kfir Brigade soldiers against evacuating settlements, and the role of rabbis in influencing their actions.
"It says (in Ethics of the Fathers), 'Wise people, be careful with your words,' and I add 'rabbis' many times over," he said. "It isn't an army according to your (the rabbis') requests, and every soldier should precisely obey his commanders and not his rabbis. You don't have to follow every rabbi who says inciting things like sheep after his shepherd."
Meanwhile, dozens of activists from the Free Schalit Campaign protested outside the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon, calling on the government to secure the captured soldier's freedom.
"We are used to rumors, but there definitely hope," said one of the protesters. "The tape was the first and important step. We see progress and are full of faith, but we don't just want rumors, we are waiting for him to come home."