Mediator hits out at Olmert

JERUSALEM - Israel's point man in talks with Egypt on a Gaza truce has lashed out at Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for linking the issue to the release of an Israeli soldier, a report said.

JERUSALEM - Israel's point man in talks with Egypt on a Gaza truce has lashed out at Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for linking the issue to the release of an Israeli soldier, a report said.

Amos Gilad, the senior defence ministry official who has been shuttling between Israel and Egypt for weeks, said requiring the freeing of Gilad Shalit for a Gaza ceasefire at the last moment would alienate ally Cairo.

"I don't understand what it is that they're trying to do," the Maariv daily yesterday quoted Gilad as telling a close associate.

"To insult the Egyptians? We've already insulted them.

"It's madness. Egypt has remained almost our last ally here." - Sapa-AFP

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