DM Wants Media Ban on Shalit

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak wants to place a media ban on future negotiations with Hamas for the release IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas in 2006 during a cross-border raid on an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) outpost near the Kerem Shalom border crossing with the Gaza Strip. Two soldiers will killed and three others wounded in the attack.

Thus far, negotiations to bring Shalit home have been unsuccessful.

Since the return of IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev's bodies last Wednesday, top Israeli officials, including Barak and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, have promised to do "everything necessary" to secure Shalit's release.

According to Barak, "everything necessary" includes media blackouts on any news of the negotiations because the continuous media coverage is hampering the process.

"It is impossible to conduct negotiations when the cards are on the table," Barak said.

The defense minister believes that Shalit's return will only be successful if efforts to return him are conducted out of the media spotlight, which could be imposed by a military censor.

Hamas is also in favor of a media blackout, citing last week's prisoner exchange with Hezbollah. Hamas officials say Hezbollah achieved its goals by keeping negotiations secret.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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