Sneh: Hamas's Shalit statements just propaganda

Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said Sunday that statements by senior Hamas members regarding the fate of kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit were simply a propaganda campaign to deter the IDF from continuing its operations in Gaza. Sneh said that the military activity in Gaza was in no way meant to free Shalit by force, but rather to deal directly with Kassam-launching at Israel. In an interview with Israel Radio, Sneh added that it would not be possible to destroy the terrorists' rocket-launching capabilities entirely, but it was necessary to hit Hamas strongholds and operatives. Sneh said the operations in Gaza would end only when mission's objectives were achieved. He emphasized that it was impossible to wipe out terror by military means alone, and that the Labor Party was interested in holding diplomatic talks.