Reports of signs of life from Gilad Shalit

Sunday, September 17, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Sources within the Palestinian Authority have reported over the weekend that a first sign of life from Gilad Shalit, in the form of a letter, was delivered to Israel. The Arab media has also reported progress in the negotiations for his release.

Hamas sources within the PA said over the weekend that a letter, written by kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, was transferred from Gaza to Egypt, and then to Israel, providing the first sign of life from the soldier kidnapped almost three months ago.

Additional reports in two Arab newspapers this weekend say that a deal to release Shalit is imminent. The reports, published by the Saudi “Okaz” newspaper and the British Al-Quds al Arabi, say that Shalit is due to be transferred to Egypt, and from there back to Israel. So far, there has been no official confirmation by Israel about the reports, but officials have confirmed, though, that progress has been made on the issue.

Noam Shalit, father of the kidnapped soldier, has not confirmed any reports of the sign of life from his son or the various media reports and said that “none of the information published in the past few days in the various presses and Arab newspapers has proven to be correct.” Shalit has not denied the report outright either.

With that, efforts to advance the release of the two other kidnapped soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are ongoing. This weekend, Martin Luther King III, son of the American civil rights leader, met with Cabinet Minister Itzhak Herzog and offered his assistance with the negotiations to release the three soldiers.

King said that he sees great importance in visiting Israel, especially during these days, and he is interested in studying the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and provide his help to resolve the conflict.

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