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  10/22/2011, Tishrei 24, 5772

MK Peretz: Shalit Deal was in the Works in 2006



Member of Knesset Amir Peretz (Labor Party) said that when he was Defense Minister in 2006, there was a deal in the works to release Gilad Shalit. MK Peretz told Channel 2 TV's Meet the Press that a deal was arranged by two senior Egyptian army officers who were then in the Gaza Strip mere weeks after the kidnapping. 

"Prime Minister [Ehud] Olmert told me that apparently the deal was set and that Gilad would be released that Friday at four o'clock in the afternoon," Peretz stated.

"We expected to receive message from [then Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak and promised to release prisoners to [PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas but something blew up there," added Peretz. "[there was] no hesitation even to negotiate with officials in Syria who came to [Hamas leader] Khaled Mashal. We acted decisively to look for a military option if there were no negotiations." said Peretz.

He concluded that he hoped the military and intelligence community would use the recent prisoner exchange deal to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit as a learning experience to strengthen their resolve.