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News Brief

July 7, 2006
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The father of an Israeli soldier seized by Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip spoke by telephone with a representative of the captors. The left-wing Voice of Peace radio station on Thursday connected Noam Shalit and Abu Obaida, a spokesman for three Palestinian terrorist groups holding Shalit’s son Gilad since June 25. During the conversation, which was broadcast live, Shalit implored the captors in Hebrew to show “flexibility” in their ransom demands. Abu Obaida, answering in Arabic, said the captors “want to find a solution” to the hostage crisis, but that the onus was on the Israeli government to act first. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has refused the captors’ demand for an initial release of hundreds of imprisoned Palestinians, calling it extortion.

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