Hamas released a letter from its Israeli captive, abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.
Making good on its promise to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the Palestinian Islamist faction on Monday delivered a letter from Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was abducted to the Gaza Strip almost two years ago.
Shalit’s parents said the letter, which was handled by the Carter Center, was addressed to them and signaled distress on the part of the captive, who has been held almost entirely incommunicado.
“He pleads for his life,” Shalit’s father, Noam, told Yediot Achronot on Tuesday. “We have no doubt that this is Gilad’s handwriting. The letter is recent, even though it is not dated.”
The gesture by Hamas came as Israeli leaders prepared to discuss the possibility of a major military sweep of Gaza to crush cross-border rocket fire.
Analysts said Hamas may be trying to signal its willingness to continue negotiations on releasing Shalit in exchange for jailed Palestinian terrorists. Israel has so far rejected many of the names on the Hamas release roster.