Israel puts condition to lift Gaza siege
Israel will not lift its siege on the Gaza Strip unless Hamas movement allows the Red Cross to visit an Israeli soldier captured in 2006, its foreign minister said on Thursday. "We must say clearly that the minimal condition for lifting the blockade is for the Red Cross to be allowed to regularly visit Gilad Shalit," Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement, cited by AFP.
"As long as this condition is not fulfilled, there is no reason to change the situation," he added.
Hamas was quick to dismiss his comments, calling Israel's linking of Shalit's fate to the blockade "an attempt to mislead and cover up international efforts to break the siege."