Lawyers for captured Israeli solder head to Gaza
Lawyers for the family of captured Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit said they were travelling to the Gaza Strip to meet Hamas officials.
PARIS, Feb 27, 2008 - Two French lawyers for the family of captured
Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit said Tuesday they were travelling to the Gaza
Strip to meet Hamas officials, and hopefully visit the captive soldier.
Lawyers Emmanuel Altit and Stephane Zerbib said they would travel to Gaza
on Saturday at the "invitation" of the Islamist movement, which controls the
Contacted by AFP in Gaza, however, Hamas spokesman Hamas Sami Abu Zuhri
denied his group had invited the lawyers, saying that "this report is detached
Captured by Palestinian militants in June 2006, Shalit -- who also has
French nationality -- has become an Israeli cause celebre.
The young corporal, 21 and on national service when he was kidnapped on the
edge of the Gaza Strip, has long been held up as a potential ace in
negotiations over prisoner exchanges.
Israel is currently considering loosening rules on the release of
Palestinian prisoners in exchange for his freedom.
Gilad's father, Noam Shalit, confirmed in a phone conversation with AFP
that the two lawyers will be arriving on Saturday in Israel, but would not
comment on their going to Gaza.
The exiled head of the Hamas Islamist movement, Khaled Meshaal, said in an
interview early this year that Shalit was "alive and well."