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Olmert makes last-ditch effort to have soldier freed


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Olmert makes last-ditch effort to have soldier freed

The family of captive Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, may finally have their way.

For a week, they have camped out in front of the residence of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, calling on him to secure the release of their son before leaving office. Shalit was kidnapped by Palestinian militants in June 2006. He has been held in the Gaza Strip ever since. On Sunday, Olmert announced to Cabinet he had sent two senior negotiators to Egypt to negotiate the soldier’s freedom. “I have ordered them to continue discussions until this evening,” he said. “I am going to convene a special cabinet meeting tomorrow to receive a briefing and make a decision on this.” Proceedings for forming an Israeli government are continuing apace. Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and centrist leader Tzipi Livni have reportedly held a secret meeting, to explore the possibility of forming a coalition. Her Kadima party broke off talks earlier this month after Livni accused Netanyahu of not being committed to the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

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