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Noam Shalit Accuses Olmert of Neglect; Hamas Rejects Red Cross

Noam Shalit, father of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, accused Olmert of neglect and personal recriminations in his attempts to free his son.

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 6/21/2009, 12:04 AM

srael news photo: Flash 90

Noam Shalit, whose son Gilad was kidnapped by Hamas and allied terrorists nearly three years ago, lashed out at former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, charging him with personal attacks on the Shalit family. Olmert “made sure to tell us that we're lucky that Gilad is alive,” Noam Shalit told Channel 2 News. Two of his comrades were killed in the same terrorist attack.

The soldier's father accused the former prime minister of trying to "settle accounts” with the Shalit family for its campaign to gather public support to pressure the government to work harder to free the kidnap victim.

“We could have forgiven him for rebuking us and humiliating us if he had at least gotten results, but he did not,” Shalit said. Shortly after Gilad was kidnapped, Olmert insisted he would not negotiate to free terrorists and would not resume peace talks with Palestinian Authority PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas until his release.

Olmert’s office rejected Noam Shalit’s criticism, stating that the former prime minister “will not respond publicly to claims such as these, or any other, by the Shalit family, however erroneous, harmful and inaccurate they may be."

Meanwhile, Hamas rejected a Red Cross announcement on Thursday that its officials be allowed to visit Shalit, as required by the Geneva Convention. Hamas officials charged that Shalit’s situation is similar to that of Gaza terrorists being held in Israel, although Israel has allowed the Red Cross to visit prisoners.

Gilad Shalit is presumed to be alive, but Hamas has provided no signs of life and there is no indication of his physical and psychological condition.