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Clarification by PM Netanyahu regarding Gilad Schalit

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28-Mar-2010

Gilad Shalit in videotape received on October 2, 2009

Since the end of December, Hamas has not responded to the proposal of the German-Egyptian mediation.

Immediately after the government was sworn in one year ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed all of the security services to make every effort to bring Gilad Shalit back home alive and well.

At the same time, Hagai Hadas was recruited to lead the professional team that is constantly working toward this goal; German-Egyptian mediation was also brought into the picture.

These efforts bore important fruit when Israel succeeded in achieving a first sign of life from Gilad in the form of a video tape that indicated his situation and – in the eyes of the entire world – placed responsibility for his wellbeing on Hamas.

In December 2009, Prime Minister Netanyahu consulted with the seven-member ministerial forum and authorized the German-Egyptian proposal for a deal.

Photo : Gilat Schalit

The Prime Minister’s decision was based on a proper balance between two principles: Israeli readiness to go far towards bringing Gilad Shalit back home and preventing dangerous Palestinian prisoners from being released to places from which they could attack Israeli citizens.

Since the end of December, until now, Hamas has not responded to the proposal of the German-Egyptian mediation, which continues to be active.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has instructed all security services and all professional elements to continue making every effort to bring Gilad back to his family and his people forthwith. In order for this mission to succeed, it is important to act with sagacity, patience, equanimity and iron nerves.

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