Israel says Schalit "valuable asset for Hamas" that is responsible for everything that happens to him."
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Israeli officials and the IDF on Monday questioned the reliability of reports by the Al-Jazeera network and Egyptian media that kidnapped IDF soldier St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit was wounded in an IAF strike on the Gaza Strip.
The IDF released a statement on Monday saying that "Gilad Schalit is a valuable asset for Hamas. We believe it will do everything to keep him alive.
"The IDF holds Hamas responsible for everything that happens to Gilad Schalit," the statement said.
Since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead, senior IDF officials have been in contact with the Schalit family and warned them that Hamas might try to use their son in some form of psychological warfare.
Vice Premier Haim Ramon told Army Radio that he did not know how reliable the report was, but that Hamas had an interest in keeping Schalit alive.
"I'm convinced they will do whatever they can to keep him alive," Ramon said.
Similarly, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i told the radio station, "We had expected that Hamas would try to use Gilad as part of their political manipulations. We take Gilad into account in every action we take in Gaza, his situation is a consideration.
"I believe the less we talk about this matter, the better," Vilna'i said.
Schalit has been held captive in the Strip by Hamas for over 900 days.
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