Hamas denies Schalit will receive letter from dad

Red Cross representative said soldier would be permitted to respond to a letter from his father.

schalit in uniform 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy of Gilad Schalit's family)
schalit in uniform 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy of Gilad Schalit's family)
Hamas denied late Monday a report that it was considering allowing captive IDF Cpl. Gilad Schalit to receive a letter from his father and write one in return. A spokesman for the group's military wing told Israel Radio that there had been "no contact" between the Red Cross and Hamas. Earlier, Iyad Nasser, a representative of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip, said that his organization has been in "constant contact" with Hamas, and that the captors were weighing the Red Cross's request to act as intermediary. Earlier reports indicated that Hamas had already agreed to the proposal, which suggests that Schalit's father, Noam, write his son a letter, to be delivered by Red Cross representatives. Along with the missive, Gilad would be given a blank piece of writing paper marked "Gilad Schalit - response," on which he would write back. The move is meant to prove that any response from Schalit was not pre-written. Nasser said that Schalit's abductors had shown "flexibility" in listening to the Red Cross. However, Noam Schalit told Israel Radio that he knew nothing about any progress in negotiations regarding his son. This summer, Hamas released a voice clip of Schalit in which the soldier, who appeared to be reading from a script, told his family he missed them and regretted the government's intransigence on a possible prisoner release that could secure his freedom. Schalit was kidnapped in a cross-border raid near Kerem Shalom on June 25, 2006. Since then, his captors have consistently refused to allow any international aid organization access to the soldier and have likewise refused to allow any contact between Schalit and his family. Months after the kidnapping, upon learning that their son's glasses had been broken in the raid, Schalit's parents attempted to send him a replacement pair, but were not allowed to do so. Hamas has maintained that Schalit was alive and in "good condition," and was being treated well.