The Walla Hebrew Language Israeli Website, reported that Likud party members of Knesset, headed by Ayyoub Qarra, headed on Tuesday morning to Turkey to hold talks with Ankara officials on the efforts to secure a deal to release Gilad Shalit.Jewish religious leaders and officials of the Likud party of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, intend to hold a meeting with Sheikh Adnan Victor, known for his significant religious influence in Turkey, and the host of a daily show at a local TV station.

Al Qarra intends to hand Sheikh Adnan a letter from Noam Shalit, the father of the prisoner-of-war, Gilad Shalit, asking him to intervene and use his good relations with Hamas to advance towards a prisoner swap deal.

The Walla website reported that the visiting Israeli delegates would discuss the negative impact of the deteriorating Israeli-Turkish relations since the Israeli war on Gaza one year ago, and the recent incident in which Israeli vice-Foreign Minister insulted the Turkish ambassador.

The talks would focus on Shalit, but would also try to mend the relations between the two countries.

Gilad Shalit was captured in mid 2006 when Palestinian fighters infiltrate an army base near the border with the Gaza Strip. Two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian fighters were killed.