Hamas suspends Shalit negotiations

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas said it has suspended negotiations to free Gilad Shalit and would increase its demands when negotiations resume.

Also Wednesday, the kidnapped soldier’s parents said they would end their "Save Me" campaign on Saturday — his 1,000th day in captivity — to bring home their son.

Noam and Aviva Shalit have spent the past 11 days living in a protest tent outside the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem.

"All we can do now is wait for a miracle," Noam Shalit told reporters Wednesday night.

A senior Hamas source said Hamas is willing to turn Shalit into a new Ron Arad, an Israeli airman who has been missing since 1986. The source told Ynet that the terrorist organization does not care which prime minister’s government conducts the negotiations, in response to speculation that Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu will take a harder line.

"We can demand much greater numbers than the 450 prisoners. We can also demand that the three phases of the deal be merged into one phase," the Hamas source told Ynet. "If they want the soldier, they need to pay. If they don’t want to pay, their soldier will remain imprisoned by us for eternity."

"We want to free our jailed people, and for us it doesn’t matter who releases them," he said. "The terms are known. Those who meet the terms will get Shalit, and those who don’t should know that he will turn into a new Ron Arad."
 

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