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Report: Israel won't seek Shalit's release

June 15, 2008 at 2:39 PM

JERUSALEM, June 15 (UPI) -- Israeli military sources say the return of captured Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit is not part of the negotiations for a cease-fire with Hamas.

The sources, speaking to the Israeli Web site DEBKAfile.com, say the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appears to be leaving Shalit's return for a separate negotiations track. It also reports its sources say Israel will not demand an end to arms smuggling to Hamas through the Egyptian Sinai to Gaza where the weapons are used to fire at Israeli settlements.

DEBKAfile.com reports military sources are worried the lack of a deal for Shalit bears a similarity to the negotiations that ended the Lebanese conflict with Hezbollah in 2006, in that Israel was pressured to stand down without securing the release of two soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who still remain captives.

The Web site says its sources indicate that under the terms of the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that will eventually emerge, Hamas will stop its cross-border fire from Gaza and Israel will agree to end its counter-terror operations for a six-month period.

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