Barak: Schalit release not at any price

Defense minister reiterates State's desire to free solider, says he's prepared to make tough choices.

Barak 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Barak 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Defense Minister Ehud Barak reiterated on Saturday the government's wish to see kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit home safely, but emphasized that this would not be achieved "at any price." Barak, who made his comments at a 'Shabbat Tarbut' function in Holon, responded to comments Foreign Minister and Kadima leader Tzipi Livni made on Thursday, when she hinted at the possibility Israel could not secure Schalit's release by saying the State could not return every soldier. "I'm not too sure that I understand [Livni's] statement… I have buried many soldiers who were killed and did not return. We have the highest responsibility to return a soldier who is alive and in captivity through suitable and possible methods, but not at any price. "The path to Gilad's return demands difficult decisions which entail certain dangers. I am prepared to take responsibility to see to it that [Schalit] is among us," Barak said. Livni, who was lashed out at by demonstrators calling for Schalit's release on Friday, refused to retract her comments. In response to her comments, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. -Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi told troops that "there is not a day where the subject of returning Gilad Schalit goes off the agenda."