Shalit Family Refuses to Pull Court Appeal on Deal with Hamas

The Shalit family has refused to withdraw its petition in the High Court to keep the Gaza crossings closed until their son is freed from captivity.

Hana Levi Julian,

Amos Gilad, Noam Shalit
Amos Gilad, Noam Shalit
Israel News Photo: (Flash 90)

The Shalit family has informed the High Court of Justice that it has decided not to withdraw its petition to the court to freeze the government's ceasefire agreement with Hamas terrorists because it does not guarantee their son's freedom.

Noam and Aviva Shalit said they do not totally accept the government's response to their petition, and they asked for a further extension of the current order that the Gaza crossings remain closed. They said that the negotiator for the ceasefire agreement, Major-General (res.) Amos Gilad, the head of the Defense Ministry's Security-Diplomatic Bureau, is not the final authority for their son's release and thus cannot make commitments to that end. 

The soldier's parents argued that the Security Cabinet and the Prime Minister, whose decisions Gilad carried out, promised that an agreement would be condtioned on their son's release.

The State is now claiming that the deal with Hamas will bring about Shalit's release, but only after the Gaza crossings are opened.

Shalit's parents claimed in their petition that keeping the crossings closed was the only leverage that remained in forcing the terrorists to hand over their son. They also expressed their deep fear that if the crossings are opened, particularly the Rafiah crossing straddling the border between Gaza and Egypt, the terrorists could move their son permanently away from the region.

A previous official Security Cabinet decision had stated that the issue of Shalit's freedom would be included as part of any negotiated deal with Hamas.

Gilad told the High Court Monday morning that he is prepared to periodically update the soldier's family on progress in negotiations to free him. The envoy, who carried out talks with Egyptian mediators who brokered the agreement, met with the Shalits by court order Sunday night in an effort to resolve their differences. 

The court will reconvene to discuss the Shalits' request to keep Gaza crossings closed until there are further guarantees for their son's freedom, later in the day.





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