PM Reinstates Envoy

Ad Feedback—JERUSALEM—Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has reinstated Amos Gilad, Israel's special envoy to Egypt.  Gilad was fired earlier this week for critical remarks he made about Olmert concerning the negotiation of a long-term cease fire with Hamas.  Gilad apologized to Olmert Wednesday.  He was upset that the prime minister and his security cabinet linked the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit with negotiations for an 18-month cease fire between Israel and Hamas and the opening of border crossings into Gaza.  In an interview last week with the Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv, he called the policy "insanity."

Gilad has been involved in negotiations between Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians for many years.  After he was dismissed Monday, he asked for a meeting with Olmert, which Olmert granted.  Gilad submitted a written apology, which read, in part:  "I would like to apologize for what I said in the Ma'ariv newspaper on February 18, 2009 against the prime minister and the government.  The remarks were unjustified, were said in error and it would have been better had they not been said."

Olmert plans to withdraw a complaint he filed with the Civil Service Commission concerning the remarks.  The spat delayed progress in the Egyptian-brokered cease fire talks between Israel and Hamas for several days.  It has not yet been determined when Gilad will return to Egypt.

Sources:  Ha'aretz, The Jerusalem Post

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