Jerusalem – An Egyptian weekly with ties to the Egyptian government, Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, reported that Hamas relayed to Cairo a few days ago a new videotape in which the Israeli POW Gilad Shalit, appears as well as an additional letter by the soldier, confirming that he is alive. The report is based on diplomatic sources in Cairo.

The report stresses, “Hamas’ intention is to prove that Gilad Shalit is alive,” and it was stated that this is the second videotape relayed by Hamas in which Gilad Shalit is photographed. It should be noted that Israel has received one tape of Gilad in which only his voice is recorded, and he is not seen in it.

A senior security source in Egypt denied the report in a conversation with the daily Israeli paper, Yediot Ahronot. “The information is incorrect. Until today, no videotape of Gilad Shalit has been relayed, and to the best of my knowledge no tape or letter of Shalit has been transferred in the past few days to the authorities in Egypt.”

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Bureau stated that nothing is known about a new tape of the soldier. Gilad’s father Noam Shalit said last night that he had also not heard about the existence of such a tape. Earlier, he spoke about his deep personal disappointment with the way the negotiations for his son’s release were conducted. “In Gilad’s case, I did not see the activism, determination and creativity in the negotiations that were conducted, when the prime minister announced that he was taking it upon himself. He decided to ask the kidnappers to produce a list of the people whom they wanted released. I told him that this was unreasonable and illogical. He told me that it was the most convenient way, and I didn’t have the tools to argue with him. Predictably, Hamas gave the heaviest list it could give. It took nine months, nine months wasted for nothing.”

This was said during a discussion in Bar Ilan University’s law faculty on the topic of “Redemption of captives, legal and moral aspects.” The former director of the Israel Defense Force’s MIAs Department, Lt. Col. (res.) Yona Tilman, revealed, “when Ron Arad fell into the hands of Amal [The Islamic Movement in Lebanon], we received a series of offers that believe me, today we would grab with both hands. They demanded several hundred terrorists, not all with blood on their hands, and some money. Then-Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin was inclined to agree to the deal, and the intelligence officials convinced him to wait. They said that the price could be lowered. And then something dramatic took place – Ron Arad was kidnapped.”

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com

©The Bulletin 2008

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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