Hagai Hadas, the Israeli government appointed special representative for the return of Gilad Shalit, resigned Wednesday after a year and 10 months on the job.
The campaign for the return of Gilad Shalit said that the abducted soldier’s father, Noam, wasn’t aware of Hadas’ resignation, but will not comment on the issue. Sources at the campaign said they had considered the possibility that Hadas would resign over the ongoing freeze in negotiations with Hamas.
The abducted IDF soldier has been in Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip for almost five years.
Campaign leader Shimshon Libman thanked Hadas for his efforts, saying the government representative could only operate in the framework of the mandate granted him.
“His resignation proves that the prime minister utterly failed in the obligation he seemingly took upon himself back while in the opposition,” Libman said. “With his resignation, Hadas conveys the message that he did not receive the required tools for returning Gilad.”
“The prime minister’s fear to admit the failure of negotiations that were futile to begin with and to say ‘we’re strong and can pay for one person with many prisoners’ led to endless chatter that leaves Gilad abandoned,” he said.
There has been no progress in the efforts to secure the release of Shalit, who has been in Hamas captivity for 1,753 days now. Last week, a senior Hamas official said that German mediation efforts to secure a prisoner swap have failed.
The 58-year-old Hadas was a Mossad operative who served in various posts and is considered a top-notch intelligence and special operations man. He entered the post after replacing the previous Shalit negotiator, Ofer Dekel.