(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke this evening (Wednesday), 28 June 2006, with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who telephoned in order to be updated on the situation. The latter said that he had spoken with both Syrian President Bashar Assad and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Abu Mazen and had urged them to assist as much as possible in releasing IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit. UN Secy.-Gen. Annan also said that he was concerned over the situation in the PA and asked that Israel act with restraint.

Prime Minister Olmert said that Israel is doing everything to release the soldier and prevent the firing of Kassam rockets at Israel. He added that the PA is doing nothing to either bring about the release of Cpl. Shalit or to halt the firing of Kassam rockets at Israeli communities. The Prime Minister said that Israel has lost patience and must act in order to release Cpl. Shalit and prevent the firing of Kassam rockets at Israeli communities. He said that Israel is acting to defend itself and is taking all necessary steps not to harm civilians.