The Islamic Hamas movement on Thursday said it cannot confirm or deny if the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is still alive.
"The crazy war on the Gaza Strip wiped out everything so we don't know if Shalit is still alive or if he has died," Osama al-Muzini, a Hamas official authorized to speak on this issue, told Xinhua, referring to a 22-day Israeli offensive against the Hamas-controlled territory in January.
Al-Muzini, however, said Israel has to go ahead with talks to exchange Shalit for a number of Arab prisoners "whether the soldier was dead or alive."
"The Zionist enemy has to pursue negotiations without any signal confirming or denying this argument," al-Muzini added.
Thursday marks the third anniversary of Shalit's capture by Hamas-led Gaza militants in a cross-border raid at his military base near the Gaza Strip.
This is even more barbaric than Hamas' refusal to let the Red Cross visit Shalit. The torture that Hamas puts Shalit's family through is sickening.
Hamas has every reason to show signs of life from Shalit, as it helps their bargaining position. Their denying knowledge of Shalit's condition - as clear a lie as is possible - indicates that these murderous scum are not in a hurry to purchase their next "birthday cake" for him.