Peretz: Release of Shalit our top demand of PA

Defense Minister Amir Peretz told visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday morning that the release of captured IDF corporal Gilad Shalit was Israel's foremost demand from any potential Palestinian government. The two met at the Jerusalem's David Citadel Hotel a day before Rice, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas were scheduled to meet in efforts to revitalize stalled peace-talks. In addition, Peretz said a new Palestinian unity government including Hamas members must officially agree to all conditions set by the Mideast Quartet, commit to preventing the firing of Kassam rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, and to clamp down on the massive smuggling efforts from Egypt that is flooding Gaza with increasingly advanced weaponry.