Shalit family: Netanyahu has no choice but to bring Gilad home
Netanyahu sends message to Hamas: No further compromises on release of 'dangerous terrorists' for Shalit.
The family of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit said Friday that "[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has no choice but to bring Gilad home."
Shalit was captured by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid in 2006. Hams, the rulers of the Gaza Strip, have demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for his freedom.
Speaking on behalf of the Shalit family, the head of the Free Shalit campaign Shimshon Liebman responded Friday to Netanyahu's message to Hamas on Thursday declaring that Israel would not make further compromises in the negotiations over a possible prisoner exchange.
"We are learning about this decision from all the sources at our disposal, and once we have all the information we will decide on further action," Liebman said. "At this stage we have decided not to respond immediately, and not to go to Jerusalem."
"I think that for the prime minister, after three and a half years during which all the options have been exhausted, he doesn't have any other choice but to bring Gilad home," Liebman added.
On Thursday, Netanyahu sent a message to Hamas declaring that the team negotiating the prisoner exchange would be granted no more flexibility regarding the release of "dangerous terrorists" to the West Bank.
Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said Thursday that Netanyahu's position is final. "The prime minister insists that very dangerous terrorists, the ones with blood on their hands, will not be released to places in which they might endanger the lives of Israeli citizens," the sources said.
In recent days there has been much deliberation regarding the Shalit deal within the forum of seven, comprised of Netanyahu and six senior cabinet ministers. Several ministers, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, objected to the possibility of additional concessions regarding freeing prisoners.
During the deliberations, Netanyahu said that the government will continue to make every effort to bring Shalit home safe and sound, as long as it does not compromise Israel's security interests.
The German mediator in the Shalit deal talks has briefed Israeli officials on Hamas' response to Israel's latest prisoner exchange offer.