Shalit’s return tops Olmert agenda in Egypt


Ehud Olmert will visit Egypt next week to press for the return of an Israel soldier held hostage in Gaza.

The Israeli prime minister’s office said Thursday he will fly to Sharm el-Sheik for talks Tuesday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whose regime brokered the Gaza truce with Hamas.

Political sources said Olmert will ask for progress in mediated talks on the repatriation of Gilad Shalit, a soldier abducted to Gaza by Hamas-led gunmen two years ago.

Shalit’s family has accused the Olmert government of forsaking the captive by entering the cease-fire without a clear commitment on when Shalit will be freed.

Israel says Shalit’s return is integral to the deal and that Egypt will only open its border with Gaza – a key Hamas demand – when it is clear he is on his way home.

Recommended from JTA