A deadline from Palestinian militants holding a kidnapped Israeli soldier has expired without Israel meeting the kidnappers' terms. The kidnappers responded by saying they would release no more information about the soldier.
Israel let the deadline pass without releasing the more than one thousand prisoners the kidnappers were demanding in exchange for 19-year-old Corporal Gilad Shalit.
The three Palestinian groups holding Shalit, including the military wing of the ruling Hamas Party, said they would release no more information about the soldier. However, they hinted that he is alive.
Israeli spokesman Ra'anan Gissin said Israel is stepping up the military pressure.
"To seek the safe release of Gilad and returning him back to his family," he explained.
Israel appeared to be withholding a full scale invasion of the Gaza Strip after the United States and other Western powers urged restraint. However, an Israeli cabinet minister warned that if the soldier is harmed, the "sky will fall" on Hamas.