Netanyahu set to meet with Tzvi Schalit

Grandfather to plea for agreement on release of grandson, Gilad.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
June 22, 2010 10:40
1 minute read.
Schalit video  248.88

Schalit video 248.88. (photo credit: )

The grandfather of captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit was set to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, in an attempt to convince him to reach a deal with Hamas for the release of his grandson.

Netanyahu will update Tzvi Schalit, 85, on the government's actions to free Gilad until now.

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Prisoners Dilemma

This meeting comes a day after Netanyahu spoke up against freeing convicted terrorists into the West Bank in exchange for the release of Schalit at the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday.

Netanyahu explained that he had agreed to the release of 1,000 prisoners in exchange for Schalit. Four hundred and fifty were considered Hamas prisoners, while the remaining 550 were considered to be a gesture to Egypt.

"We can't release dangerous terrorists to places in the West Bank, where they can kill Israeli citizens," Netanyahu warned the committee, adding that the experience of past prisoner releases proved that released terrorists can return to terror. Although he noted, "We're constantly looking for new ways to bring Gilad home safe and sound."

Netanyahu went on to tell the committee that a new plan had been presented by the German mediator working on the case since late last year. "The German mediator has given an offer for the prisoner exchange deal, but Hamas is yet to answer." He added, “While it’s not a simple offer, we have agreed to it.”

“My responsibility is both to return Gilad to his family and to his nation, but also to take into consideration the security of all of Israel’s citizens,” declared Netanyahu, adding that he had spoken with the Schalit family regarding the latest offer.

“I told the Schalit family that I understand them and identify with their terrible suffering and their expectations.”

Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report


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