The IDF operation is not likely to endanger Gilad Shalit, the soldier captured by Hamas in June 2006, defence officials said this week.
Egyptian TV broadcast a report that Mr Shalit had been injured during the IDF operations. But the IDF released a statement saying: “Gilad Shalit is a valuable asset for Hamas.
“We believe it will do everything to keep him alive.”
Senior IDF officials have been in contact with the Shalit family and warned them that Hamas might try to use their son as part of the psychological warfare campaign against Israel.
Senior IDF officers expressed hope this week that the current operations against Hamas would pressure Hamas into renewing the negotiations and reaching a deal .
Mr Shalit’s father, Noam, told the JC that he was not speaking to the media at this time due to the ongoing operations in Gaza but said that he was concerned.
The Gilad Shalit Foundation was planning a large demonstration next Sunday to lobby the government to free Mr Shalit.