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Shalit gets family letter

by: JTA - Last updated: 2008-10-26

Hamas has said it delivered a letter to captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from his family which was sent via via French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The letter is the first Hamas has allowed to Shalit, though Shalit has sent several messages since he was captured on the Gaza-Israel border in a 2006 raid.

Shalit holds dual Israeli/French citizenship and the letter went from Shalit's father, Noam, to Sarkozy, who gave it to Qatari officials, who passed it on to Syrian officials, who gave it to Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Damascus.

Negotiations facilitated by Egyptian mediators have failed to yield an agreement between Hamas and Israel over the number of Palestinian prisoners Israel would exchange in return for Shalit's liberation.