JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed former senior Mossad official Hagai Hadas to lead negotiations for the release of captured Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
Shalit has been imprisoned by Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip since his abduction from an IDF outpost near the Kerem Shalom border crossing in June 2006.
Hagai replaces Ofer Dekel, appointed by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in August 2006.
A special committee, chaired by Netanyahu and made up of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Intelligence Services Minister Dan Meridor, Minister without Portfolio Yossi Peled and MK (member of Knesset) Yisrael Hasson (Kadima), will support the negotiations.
Both Barak and Ya'alon served as IDF chief of general staff, Peled served as head of the IDF's Central Command, and Hasson served as deputy chief of the Shin Bet (General Security Agency).
Source: The Jerusalem Post