jp-04-25-10-Noam Schalit accused Hamas of "psychological warfare" on Sunday, after the group's military arm released a 3D animated video depicting his son, captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, being returned to Israel in a coffin.
"It's regrettable that the leaders of Hamas time and again choose to employ psychological warfare – for the umpteenth time – against the Schalit family and the State of Israel," the soldier's father said.
Hamas, he went on, would have done better to respond to Israel's latest offer for a prisoner exchange with the Islamist movement, which had “lain on their table for four months unanswered.”
"Hamas would do better to concern itself with the true interests of the Palestinian prisoners and the citizens of Gaza, who have become hostages of their leaders, instead of putting on films and displays," was Schalit's official response.
The three-minute video, released on Sunday morning, shows Noam Schalit wandering the streets with a photo of his son in his hand. Gilad’s voice, as heard in two tapes previously released by Hamas, can be heard in the background. As Noam Schalit is walking, he passes photographs of former prime minister Ehud Olmert and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, symbolizing the passage of time.
Also responding to Hamas's video on Sunday was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's spokesman, Nir Hefetz.
"The cynical manipulation of the Schalit family's feelings by Hamas leadership just two days after Israel allowed a girl to be flown out of Gaza for a life-saving operation, reflects more than anything upon the organization's character."
The "base action" by Hamas was the organization's tactic to avoid making a decision on a deal to free the captured soldier, and responding to "the offer of a humanitarian deal worked out with both sides that the German mediator placed before them under Egyptian auspices two months back," Hefetz said.
Hamas leadership said the message of the video was that while the chance of a deal was realistic, but if negotiations continue to be drawn out Israel may come to regret it. Hamas will not compromise on its demands, they reiterated.
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