Negotiator Gilad apologizes to Olmert


JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s former chief negotiator with Egypt apologized to Ehud Olmert for publicly criticizing the government.

The Israeli prime minister on Monday fired Amos Gilad, his chief negotiator with Egypt for a Hamas cease-fire and to free Gilad Shalit, in the wake of an interview published Feb. 18 in the daily Ma’ariv in which he criticized the government’s decision to link Shalit’s release with Israel opening its border crossings with Gaza.

Gilad reportedly will be reinstated to his post in the next few days.

During a meeting Wednesday, Gilad gave Olmert a letter that read, "I would like to apologize for what I said, in the Ma’ariv newspaper on 18.2.09, against the Prime Minister and the Government. The remarks were unjustified, were said in error and it would have been better if they had not been said."

After the meeting, Olmert wrote in a letter to Gilad, "Following our meeting, in the framework of which you apologized to me for the unjustified remarks you made, in error, against me and against the Government, and in light of my appreciation of you and your dedicated work over the years on behalf of the State of Israel and its security, I intend to bring this matter to an immediate close."


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