'PM says truce must include Schalit'

Noam Schalit claims Olmert personally assured him Gilad's release a non-negotiable ceasefire term.

zevulun orlev 224 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
zevulun orlev 224 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Noam Schalit, father of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, spoke Tuesday morning of a ceasefire agreement currently developing with Hamas. In an interview with Israel Radio, he said that the negotiations present the ultimate opportunity to rescue his son. Almost two years have passed since Gilad was captured by Hamas, said Schalit, during which time he has likely not seen the light of day. Schalit referred to inconsistent reports of his son's state, and said that as far as he knows, the government does not intend to come to a cease-fire agreement that does not include his son's release. According to Schalit, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert assured him in a phone conversation that "there will not be any agreements or arrangements with Hamas that do not include Gilad's release." Schalit added that the topic of his son's release has not been discussed recently, and that the price Hamas is requesting for his release is uncertain. He said that he promoted the use of "every legal means possible" to free his son, and wishes "to prevent any shady deals or arrangements that do not include Gilad." A Hamas delegation is set to meet with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman Tuesday to give its decision on Defense Minister Ehud Barak's ceasefire proposal, in which Gilad's release is said to be a non-negotiable term.