PM Meets Shalit's Grandfather

The grandfather of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit says he's "optimistic" about the future after meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Hana Levi Julian, | updated: 17:07

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The grandfather of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit said Tuesday afternoon that he was "optimistic" about his grandson's future after meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu was prepared to explain why it was not in the state’s best interest to release murderous terrorists into Judea and Samaria – even in order to spare the life of the abducted IDF staff sergeant, who this week will have been gone four years.

Shalit’s 85-year-old grandfather, Tzvi Shalit, received an update on the government’s efforts on behalf of his grandson and told reporters following the meeting, "I have some hope."

Netanyahu has already appeared before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, where he explained to legislators on Monday, “We cannot release dangerous terrorists to places in Judea and Samaria, where they can kill Israeli citizens.”

The government has already agreed to free 1,000 terrorist prisoners in exchange for the young soldier, who in three more days will have spent four years in captivity in Gaza. Of those, 450 alone are members of the Hamas terrorist organization that was responsible for his abduction. Another 550 terrorists are being added to the list as a “gesture” to Egypt, which has been involved in mediating a prisoner swap deal from the outset.

“We’re constantly looking for new ways to bring Gilad home safe and sound,” Netanyahu told the committee, adding that the German negotiator who joined the effort last year had advanced another offer to Hamas. The proposed deal is “not a simple offer,” Netanyahu said, “but we have agreed to it.”

The Prime Minister noted that while he holds himself responsible for returning the soldier to his family, he also takes into consideration “the security of all of Israel’s citizens.”

Nevertheless, the elderly Shalit said that by the end of his meeting with the Prime Minister, he felt better about his grandson's chances for being able to return home alive, if the conditions the two men discussed actually come to fruition.




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