Abducted Israeli soldier alive, government says

4th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 4, 2006 (AFP) - The Israeli soldier abducted last week by Palestinian militants "is still alive," Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner said Tuesday on the French news channel LCI.

PARIS, July 4, 2006 (AFP) - The Israeli soldier abducted last week by Palestinian militants "is still alive," Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner said Tuesday on the French news channel LCI.

"We know that until now Gilad Shalit is alive, we know that he is injured, that he was seen by a Palestinian doctor a few days ago," Pazner said in French.

"We are sure of our information. As I speak to you, he is alive," he added.

The 19-year-old soldier was captured in the Gaza Strip on June 25 during an attack on an army post.

Earlier Tuesday his captors said they did not want to kill the serviceman despite the expiry at 0300 GMT of an ultimatum to Israel to free Palestinian prisoners or "face the consequences".

The communique did not say what would happen to Gilad Shalit if their demands were not met.

"We do not have an exact idea of his injuries nor what treatment he is receiving. That is why it is imperative that this matter be resolved as soon as possible. Every day that goes by will be to the detriment of Gilad Shalit," Pazner said.

"We hope his captors understand the importance of Gilad Shalit being alive and in good health for all of us," he added, warning that Israel "does not negotiate with terrorists."

Pazner was asked about the ongoing military operations on Palestinian territories after Israeli forces carried out another punishing raid on the Gaza Strip for a seventh straight night.

"We will continue with our military operations," Pazner said, while stressing that they were "extremely limited", with Israel "only deploying one percent" of its forces.

He said the aim was to look for tunnels dug by Palestinian militants into Israel and explosive devices.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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