Thursday, July 06, 2006

Israeli Soldier's Father Suggests Considering Prisoner Swap

Israeli father suggests considering swap


JERUSALEM -- The father of a captured Israeli soldier called on the government Thursday to consider releasing Palestinian prisoners in exchange for his son, despite the government's refusal to negotiate with the captors.

Cpl. Gilad Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid last week, prompting Israel to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

"Everything has a price. I don't think there will be some sort of move to free Gilad without a price. That's not the way it works in the Middle East," said Shalit's father, Noam.

He said the government already had been considering a prisoner swap before his 19-year-old son was captured.

"There is no reason not to consider this after this incident in order to free someone who was sent by the state to the front lines," he said.

The Hamas-linked militants holding the soldier have demanded a large-scale release of Palestinian prisoners. Israel has rejected the demand and called for the soldier's unconditional release.

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