PRC says it wants new talks on Schalit

Hamas spokesman says that ongoing international efforts to free soldier are "not serious."

September 18, 2007 09:03
1 minute read.
PRC says it wants new talks on Schalit

Gilad Schalit 298 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Captive IDF Cpl. Gilad Schalit's abductors are seeking to renew negotiations for the soldier's release, but have not yet done so, sources in the Popular Resistance Committees said Tuesday. Israel Radio reported that the PRC said it expected Egypt to reopen talks on Schalit's release, and accused Israel of holding up a possible deal. In addition to the remarks from the PRC, Hamas spokesman Abu Obaida said that efforts were being made to free Schalit by regional and international powers, but that they "still weren't serious." In August, the PRC blamed Schalit's family for keeping him in jail, PRC spokesman Abu Mujad said Sunday. According to Abu Mujad, Schalit's parents have not put enough pressure on the diplomatic echelon in Jerusalem to secure their son's release, Army Radio reported. Abu Mujad appealed to the Schalit family, saying, "You are neglecting your duty to your son, and your government has left him in the field - not freed him." Nevertheless, Abu Mujad expressed optimism that Israel would "soften" its stance. A month ago, Hamas's political leader Khaled Mashaal told Al-Jazeera that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was responsible for holding up Schalit's release, because the prime minister "didn't want to release [Hamas] prisoners." Last week, Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that family members of Hamas men held in Israeli prisons should be denied visitation rights until the Red Cross was allowed to visit Schalit, held by Hamas in Gaza since he was kidnapped in June 2006. Lieberman's comments came hours after Olmert promised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he would push for a prisoner release ahead of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. In his response to the meeting, the strategic affairs minister insisted that no prisoner release should be considered.

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