Hamas again rejects Red Cross-Shalit visit


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas has turned down another official request from the International Red Cross to visit Gilad Shalit in the Gaza Strip.

Israel Radio reported Wednesday that the terrorist group that runs Gaza rejected the request to visit Shalit, one of several made since the Israeli soldier’s capture in a cross-border raid four years ago.

Hamas fears that Israel could then use a military operation to free Shalit, the Hamas newspaper Falastin quoted Hamas lawmaker Yehia Moussa as saying. Such an operation could endanger Shalit’s life, Moussa implied in the interview.

Meanwhile, Shalit’s grandfather, Zvi Shalit, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Shalit case negotiator Haggai Hadas to discuss progress in efforts to secure Shalit’s freedom. Zvi Shalit was kept waiting nearly three hours for the scheduled meeting due to negotiations on Israel’s annual budget.

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