'Hadas a man of action, not diplomacy'

Colleague says former Mossad senior appointed as special Schalit envoy likely to think in operative terms.

hagai hadas 248.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
hagai hadas 248.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The appointment of Hagai Hadas to head the Gilad Schalit dossier may suggest future efforts to free the captive soldier will proceed at the operational level, with less of a focus on diplomacy, Mossad veteran Rami Igra told Army Radio about his former colleague. "Hagai will first consider an operative solution [to secure the release of Schalit]. Presenting Hagai as simply another interlocutor is just wrong," Igra said. Diplomacy "is not part of his training," he continued. On Sunday evening, Hadas phoned Noam and Aviva Schalit, Gilad's parents, who were participating in the Salute to Israel march in Manhattan. He told Noam Schalit that "we have great commitment to our fighters, and in the spirit of this commitment I intend to act." Hadas is expected to meet with the Schalits upon their return to Israel. The Prime Minister's Office said the government was also establishing a special public committee to assist and oversee the new negotiator's work. The committee, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, will include Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Intelligence Services Minister Dan Meridor, Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled and Kadima MK Yisrael Hasson. Its seven members represent all major coalition partners and the opposition. "Schalit is not a political issue," a Prime Minister's Office source said of the committee. The panel also contains a high concentration of security expertise, with two former chiefs of the IDF General Staff (Barak and Ya'alon), a former OC Central Command (Peled) and a former Shin Bet deputy head (Hasson). Hadas, 56, is one of the country's most experienced intelligence figures, having served for decades in senior operational roles in the Mossad. He retired from one of the agency's top posts in 2006 and founded an Internet start-up company. Mossad chief Meir Dagan was reportedly opposed to his new appointment. Hadas left the Mossad in 2006 after clashes with Dagan.