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Father of Captive Israeli Soldier Says Olmert Failed to Free His Son

The father of an Israeli soldier held captive in the Gaza Strip for nearly three years blames outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for failing to free his son.

Noam Shalit told reporters in Jerusalem Wednesday that he was wrong in expecting Mr. Olmert to bring his son home. He said the "window of opportunity has closed," after talks on a prisoner exchange between Israel and the militant group Hamas broke down on Tuesday.

Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas in 2006.

Shalit's father said he and his wife will dismantle their protest tent in front of the prime minister's residence and return home on Saturday, marking 1,000 days since the soldier was captured.

Mr. Olmert said Tuesday that government efforts to free Shalit will continue. He had hoped to secure Shalit's release before leaving office in the coming days.

Egyptian-mediated talks broke down when Israel refused to free all 450 Hamas prisoners involved in suicide bombings against Israel and other attacks.

An Israeli ministerial committee convened Wednesday to discuss possible ways of imposing more restrictions on Palestinian inmates, to place pressure on Hamas. Among the measures being considered are restricting prisoners' monetary allowances, their means of communication, and their contact with visitors.

The committee is also considering further tightening Israel's blockade on Gaza. The task force will make its recommendations in two weeks.

Separately on Wednesday, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the home of a Palestinian attacker can be demolished. Hussam Duwiyat plowed a bulldozer into vehicles last July in Jerusalem, killing three people. He was also killed in the rampage.

The Israeli government decided to destroy the home of Duwiyat, but the attacker's father appealed the demolition order, saying it would be a disproportionate punishment. The Supreme Court rejected the appeal.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.