Olmert: No Gaza deal without Shalit

Israel will not agree to a Gaza truce that does not include Gilad Shalit’s release, Ehud Olmert assured the soldier’s father.

Noam Shalit, the father of the Israeli soldier abducted to the Gaza Strip by Hamas-led gunmen in June 2006, told Israel Radio on Tuesday that the prime minister assured him his son would have to go free as part of any deal between Jerusalem and the Palestinian Islamist faction.

Egypt has been trying to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas under which the economic embargo on Gaza would be lifted.

Israeli officials said last week that freedom for Shalit would be a factor in the negotiations. Hamas, which wants to trade the soldier for hundreds of Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel, balked at the new demand, but it sent a delegation to Egypt on Monday to discuss it further.

 

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