Report: Schalit message recorded recently

The voice recording of captured IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit posted on Hamas's website Monday is authentic and was recently recorded, Israel Radio quoted a high-ranking defense official as saying Tuesday. Posting the recording, said the official on Tuesday morning, was proof of Hamas's weakness. Furthermore, the fact that the organization accepted responsibility for the soldier's health and life was encouraging he said. The official emphasized that Schalit's kidnappers belonged to the Popular Resistance Committees - who left Hamas. Syria-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and deposed Palestinian Authority prime minister Ismail Haniyeh do not know where Schalit is being held captive and do not have the power to bring about his release, he said. The top defense official went on to say that Hamas hoped if a prisoner-exchange agreement were reached, his captors would release him as a result of pressure exerted on them. The release of Palestinian prisoners is in Hamas's interest and would strengthen the movement's stance in the Palestinian perception, he continued.