Bibi: Israeli's Shalit Offer Is Final

By Barak Ravid (Haaretz)

Published February 15, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday asked Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to tell Hamas that Israel will not sweeten its offer for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

Meanwhile, Medvedev told his Israeli visitor that Russia will hold off on delivering an advanced air defense system, the S-300, to Iran.

Netanyahu asked Medvedev to tell Hamas that Israel wants to make a deal for Shalit, but will not agree to release more Palestinian prisoners than it has already. The Russian president offered Moscow’s help in the talks.

A senior source in Netanyahu’s entourage said the Israeli leader urged Medvedev not to legitimize Hamas. “We are not pleased with your relations with Hamas,” he quoted Netanyahu as telling Medvedev. “But since they exist, we can relay messages on humanitarian issues. Tell Hamas they won’t get a better offer from us on the [Shalit] deal.”

Information and Diaspora Minister Yuli Edelstein and National Security Advisor Uzi Arad also attended part of the three-hour meeting. After lunch, Israeli Ambassador to Moscow Anna Azari, MK Zeev Elkin and other Netanyahu advisers joined them.

Much of the meeting was about Iran. A senior Israeli official who attended said Medvedev made “harsh statements on the Iranian issue, the likes of which we’ve never heard from him.”

A key topic was Russia’s planned sale of the S-300 to Iran. Israel has repeatedly asked Russia to scrap its contract for the anti-aircraft missiles, which could help Iran thwart any attempt to bomb its nuclear facilities.

An hour before Netanyahu’s plane took off on Sunday, Russian officials said Moscow sees no reason to delay the S-300 sale. “There is a signed contract [for the S-300 missiles] which we must follow through on, but deliveries have not started yet,” Vladimir Nazarov, deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, told the Interfax news agency.

And on Friday, Russian intelligence officials leaked angry comments about an Israeli firm’s plan to close a major arms deal with Georgia.

But the message conveyed by Medvedev at yesterday’s meeting was that Russia would not deliver the missiles at this stage, and would update Israel on any change in this position, a senior Israeli official said.

“On this issue, Russia is taking the need for stability in the region into consideration,” Netanyahu told reporters.

Netanyahu told Medvedev that Iran’s nuclear ambitions must be halted before it develops an atomic bomb and implored him to back “sanctions with teeth” targeting Iran’s energy sector. What is needed, the premier told reporters after the meeting, are sanctions that would reduce Iranian imports and exports of oil.

“Diluted sanctions don’t work,” Netanyahu said.

He then added a warning: “Any military action against Iran will make the situation explode and will have extremely negative consequences for the entire world, including for Russia, which is a neighbor of Iran.”

The two leaders also discussed ways of resuming negotiations with the Palestinians. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is due to visit Moscow next week for the second time in a month, and Netanyahu asked Medvedev to urge him to return to negotiations without preconditions.

“Why must we pay for the right to sit with somebody?” Netanyahu demanded “It’s absurd. It’s unacceptable. This is no peace process.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.