Activists urge Gazans to pressure Hamas

Free Gilad Schalit protesters block fuel tankers at Kerem Shalom terminal.

Gaza women schalit mural 298 (photo credit: )
Gaza women schalit mural 298
(photo credit: )
Activists from the Campaign to Free Gilad Schalit NGO prevented fuel tankers from entering the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom terminal on Tuesday, in protest against the continued captivity of the IDF soldier.
The demonstrators held banners calling on Gazans to push for the tank gunner’s release. “Hamas is deceiving you and keeping you in the world’s largest prison – the Gaza Strip,” the banners read.
Schalit’s father, Noam, who took part in the protest, said that while he did not see any diplomatic activity to promote his son’s release, the German mediator in prisoner exchange talks between Hamas and Israel was continuing his work.
On Thursday, Noam Schalit said the Obama administration opposed aprisoner exchange that would free his son, out of concern that it wouldweaken Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and destabilizethe West Bank.
On Monday, a senior Hamas official blamed the US for undermining the negotiations on Schalit’s release.
He told Al-Arabiya TV that Israel and Hamas had reached an agreement,according to which Israel would release 1,000 security prisoners,including those “with blood on their hands,” but that American pressureprevented its implementation.
“They asked Israel to withdraw its latest proposal on the Schalit deal.The deal would have been implemented if not for the Americanintervention,” the Hamas official reportedly said.