The Palestinian Prime Minister has called for negotiations to continue over a kidnapped Israeli soldier.
In so doing, Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas has put himself at odds with militants who have said further talks over the fate of Gilad Shalit are out of the question, after Israel failed to meet a deadline they had set to free Palestinian prisoners.
Haniyeh also urged those holding the 19-year-old corporal not to take his life.
He spoke out as the agonizing wait continues for Shalit’s family, more than a week after the teenager was abducted.
An Israeli government spokesman says the soldier is still alive. One of the groups that seized him said it does not kill captives but that discussion is closed.
Egyptian mediators have been involved in talks that have taken place so far.
Speaking at a business conference, Ehud Olmert said that Israel would not negotiate with what he called terror elements.
He said that no-one would be allowed to believe that kidnapping was a tool to bring Israel to its knees.
The Israeli premier added that he had told the military to continue its offensive in Gaza – saying Gilad Shalit would be brought back to those who love him.