The media here is full of the ongoing Saga over Prime Minister Olmerts firing of his Chief Negotiator Amos Gilad with the Egyptians through to the Hamas.
His role was to navigate a way for the Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit, who has been held 975 days by Hamas, to be released and leave Gaza. He is a veteran Defense and Security Official
The problem, besides Israel's inability to secure Shalit's release, is that the Government has released info for about a week that said that Shalit's release was nearly imminent.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who in his position, is very angry over Olmerts firing of the security confidant and issued an unprecedented (and incredible) message: “Olmert is hurting Israel.” The Prime Minister declares in response: “Amos Gilad was not authorized to deal with Shalit issue. Negotiations will not be harmed.”
This seems odd in the fact that, for quite some time, he has been negotiating just that – and seemed to be on the brink of success.
The friends of the captured soidier Shalit are also infuriated saying “Leaders engaged in ego wars while Gilad rots in captivity.”
So what happens now?
The Israel Security Agency Director Yuval Diskin will take the place, at least at the moment, of Gilad and join Olmert's Diplomatic Advisor Shalom Turgeman who both are the States will envoy in contacts with Egypt on achieving a lull with Hamas.
For their part, to release Shalit Hamas wants roughly 1000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails. The Prisoner Exchange Coordinator Ofer Dekel has returned from a trip abroad that dealt with Shalits release.
Hamas spokesmen have been denying reports from Palestinian sources that say that there has been meaningful progress in talks to release the kidnapped soldier.
For his part – Olmert said it this morning that there has been significant progress on Shalit's release…
Who does one believe?
The fact is the Egyptians have left the table and that would appear to validate the position of the ousted Gilad – an implication against Mr. Olmert in his final weeks in office.
We'll have more tomorrow on the Harvest Show – so tune in!