The Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz has quoted diplomats living in Gaza, who say that they know which Palestinian group kidnapped the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The diplomats say that the soldier is being treated humanely and that his health is good in spite of his wounds.
This news report was not confirmed by any independent or other source and the diplomats refused to give any more details about the group or where the soldier is being held. The diplomats said that they had made contact with the leaders of the military wing, Ahmad Jabari and Ahmad Ghandour, to persuade them to release the soldier.
According to the newspaper, Egyptian intelligence officials contacted Khalid Masha’al to discuss the release of the soldier, while Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak contacted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the same reason. The newspaper added that Israel is going to extraordinary efforts in an attempt to secure the release of the soldier.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected any possibility of releasing any Palestinian prisoner in exchange for the release of the soldier saying, "Israel will not deal with the Palestinian on this issue.” He added that since Israel had left Gaza, there was no justification for the attack in Kerem Shalom.
Speaking to the Israeli Cabinet, Olmert said that Israel will take suitable steps to release the soldier and that securing his release was a top priority for the Israeli government.
The Committee for Security Affairs gave the Israeli Security Apparatuses the freedom to take whatever steps they deemed suitable to secure the release of the soldier.
Over 9000 Palestinians are imprisoned in Israeli jails, including women and children. Hundreds of these prisoners have been held in repeated administrative detention which allows the Israeli authorities to hold them without charging them with any crime. Some Palestinians have already been held in administrative detention for 5 years and have still not been charged with any crime.