Monday, February 04, 2008

Letter from Gilad Schalit

From THE JERUSALEM POST, Feb. 4, 2008:

Egyptian sources facilitating the negotiations between Israel and Hamas said Israel has recently received a letter from IDF Cpl. Gilad Schalit, as part of the process to push forward a prisoner exchange with Hamas.

... the letter's authenticity was ascertained and it has been given to the Schalit family. The Egyptian sources said this letter greatly stepped up contact between the sides to the current situation, where a deal is almost finalized.

Jerusalem has maintained silence regarding the letter, but an initiative by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to ease the criteria for prisoner release is believed geared towards bringing to an end Schalit captivity. Among the prisoners considered for release are some with "blood on their hands." Reportedly, the point of contention is between IDF officials who believe that after being given "a sign of life, a negotiations track and a list of demands" Israel has only "to decide to act," and push for a speedy final deal even at the price of releasing dangerous terrorists, on the one hand; and Shin Bet agents, who think negotiations should be exhausted and criteria should not be made too flexible, on the other hand....

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