Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, stated on Monday that Israel is practicing all efforts on all levels to secure the release of the captured soldier, Gilad Shalit. He added that Israel knows that Shalit is alive and knows where he is.

The statements of Shalit came as he responded to a question by one of the army recruits at an Israeli Army induction center in Tel Hashomer.

He stated that Shalit has been in captivity since two years now, and that all efforts to be carried out to secure his release.

Meanwhile, an army spokesperson stated on Monday that there is nothing new in the statements of Ashkenazi, and that he meant to say that Shalit is in the hands of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Also on Monday, Abu Mojahid, the spokesperson of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) one of three groups, that are holding Shalit captive, stated that Shalit will not be freed until Israel agrees to a prisoner swap deal based on the demands of the resistance factions.

 Abu Mojahid added that Israel and its army had failed in their efforts to obtain information on Shalit, and added that “Ashkenazi knows very well that Shalit will not see the light without a prisoner swap deal”.

The Israeli Cabinet formed on Sunday a ministerial panel to discuss the release of some Palestinian detainees in exchange for Shalit.

 Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that the panel, which is headed by Israel’s Vice Prime Minister, Haim Ramon, will discuss what was described as the criteria for the release of the detainees “with bloods on their hands”, and this means the detainees who were “convicted” by an Israeli court of killing Israelis.