Israeli official says truce negotiator Gilad reinstated

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JERUSALEM: Aides to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert say the premier has reinstated his top negotiator on a Gaza Strip truce after firing him this week for publicly criticizing Olmert s handling of the talks.

A statement from Olmert s office said negotiator Amos Gilad handed Olmert a written apology for remarks he made to an Israeli newspaper last week and Olmert responded with a note of his own saying he intended to act to close this affair once and for all.

Officials in Olmert s office said Wednesday that Gilad had been reinstated as Israel s point man in Egyptian-mediated efforts to negotiate a truce with Hamas and win the release of an Israeli soldier held by Gaza militants. They spoke on condition of anonymity as their comments went beyond the public statement. -AP

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