Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, said on Wednesday that prisoner
swap deal talks should remain out of public reach, adding that “Israel
does not negotiate with the media”, and that there are information that
is classified and can't be declared.

The statements of Peretz came as he visited Mateh Asher regional Council, in the Western Galilee.

He also said that Israel cannot discuss with the media the names of “potential prisoners to be freed”, or discuss several other options, Israeli online daily, Haaretz reported.

“We must make an efforts”, Peretz stated, “This is what we are doing now”.

Also, Peretz added that the army is obliged to pass any obtained information on the conditions of the captured soldiers to their families, but any other information is classified.

Peretz said the securing the release of the soldiers is a "supreme value, both from the point of view of the defense establishment and the State of Israel”, Haaretz added.

He stated that Israel must secure the release of the soldier, held captive in Gaza, and the two soldiers held by the Lebanon based Hezbollah party.

Meanwhile, Israel's Defense Minister, Ehud Olmert, said that Israel is working under the assumption that Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, held captive by Hezbollah, are alive, Haaretz reported.

Olmert added that Israel is operating under “the highest degree of classification in order to carry talks of smart manner to achieve the desired results”.