Israeli army: We are unable to free Shalit by force

Saleh Naami , Thursday 12 May 2011

Israeli army acknowledges its failure to free kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit


The Israeli military admitted on Thursday that it has failed to locate and free Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped by the Hamas movement in Gaza in 2007.

A senior military official told the Israeli daily Haaretz that it has spent tens of millions of US dollars on intelligence efforts to track down where Shalit is being held, but that most of those efforts have been in vain. 

"It's hard to conduct negotiations with four different Hamas heads; Ismail Haniyeh has his own views; Mashal has opinions of his own and Ahmed Jaberi and Mohamed Daf also have their own independent ideas,” the official said. He added that the Israeli military has run out of options to free Shalit and that it is getting more difficult to free him by force.

Yuval Diskin, the outgoing chief of the Israeli internal intelligence agency Shin Bet, said his agency also had failed to gather any accurate information about where Shalit is being held. Diskin added in a speech in Tel Aviv University on Wednesday that despite having staff members devoted solely to the Shalit case, Shin Bet’s efforts have failed.

The Israeli military has offered $10 million as a reward for any definitive information about Shalit.

Shalit’s family usually respond to official statements about the case by announcing their protests at all public events attended by the prime minister to bring media attention to the government’s failure to free Shalit.

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