netanyahu with kipa 311.
(photo credit: GPO)
Israel is working behind the scenes for the return of captive soldier Gilad
Schalit, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday during a Remembrance Day
speech at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem.
“Not a day goes by without our
acting on behalf of our captives, our kidnapped, our prisoners and those
missing, acting for their return home,” Netanyahu said.
Opinion: Of silence, soldiers and switching gears
Gilad Schalit, who is being held by a cruel enemy. We work every day for their
return in ways that are not necessarily publicly known. We will not stop until
they are at home,” he said.
Netanyahu spoke on the same day that reports
surfaced of renewed efforts to release Schalit, who has been held captive in
Gaza for close to five years.
Israel Radio on Sunday quoted Palestinian
sources as saying that a new mechanism would be used to renew negotiations with
Hamas, while an Al Jazeera report suggested that an entirely new plan was being
A Palestinian source was quoted as saying that Egypt suggested
that Hamas renew talks. The new negotiations would reportedly be based on a
previous deal discussed between Israel and Hamas through the German
The Egyptian plan calls for representatives of Israel and Hamas
to meet in Cairo and hold negotiations on a prisoner swap deal through a
The Palestinian source said that Hamas has agreed to the
Egyptian initiative and is awaiting a reply from Israel.
According to the
source, Egypt is not offering the draft of a new prisoner swap deal, but rather
is offering a new way for the sides to take up negotiations from a previous
Al Jazeera reported on Sunday that Egyptian intelligence services
have, in fact, formulated a new draft to secure the release of Schalit, which
Hamas views as acceptable.
According to the report, Egyptian officials
will present the draft to a newly appointed negotiator who is scheduled to visit
the country in the following days.
Following the signing of the national
unity agreement by Hamas and Fatah, Egypt reportedly increased its role in
negotiating a prisoner exchange.