We will not pay any price for Schalit, Edri tells Knesset

Kadima MK to 'Post': I gave Noam Schalit the same message in private.

edri 88 (photo credit: )
edri 88
(photo credit: )
There is a limit to what the government would do for the return of captive Cpl. Gilad Schalit, Kadima Minister Ya'acov Edri told the Knesset plenum on Wednesday. "The government of Israel is willing to pay a heavy price for Schalit's return, and we know it is a high price," said Edri, who is the government's liaison to the Knesset. But Hamas's demands are not reasonable, said Edri. He cautioned that "we will not pay any price" to bring Schalit home. To do so, he said, could bring about more kidnapping. "We have to think of the future," he added. Schalit's father Noam, was in the plenum to hear his words. Edri later told The Jerusalem Post that he repeated his statements for Schalit in a private meeting between the two. Schalit visited the Knesset on Wednesday to speak with MKs and to meet with Interior Minister Roni Bar-On. Earlier in the day, he, along with the families of two other captive soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Tel Aviv. Schalit was kidnapped by Hamas a year ago on June 25, while on the Gaza border. Goldwasser and Regev were taken by Hizbullah on July 12, as they patrolled the northern border with Lebanon. There has been no sign or word of Goldwasser and Regev's fate in the interim. But on Monday, Hamas released an audiocassette of Gilad in which the 20-year old sent greetings to his family and fellow soldiers, while claiming that his health was deteriorating and that he was in need of "prolonged hospitalization." In an interview with Ynet, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said that once the situation calms down in Gaza, it would be possible to continue efforts to reach a deal between Hamas and Israel for Schalit's release. "There is an agreement on the essential principles of a deal that includes the release of 400 to 500 prisoners," said Mubarak. "The list won't grow any longer. An agreement has yet to be reached as to the identity of the prisoners," said Mubarak. He added that he believed that the disagreements with respect to the list could be worked out. Another stumbling block is who would take the first step forward, Israel or Hamas, he said. Each side is concerned that the other is not trustworthy, Mubarak said.