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Captured Israeli appears on web

The Israeli government has reacted strongly to an audio recording containing a message from captured soldier Gilad Shalit. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the tape is a 'cruel gimmick', and that no negotiations would take place with Hamas.

In the message posted on a web site of the Hamas military wing Gilad Shalit says that his health has deteriorated and that he needs medical treatment.

He also says he was disappointed with the lack of interest of the Israeli government in his fate as it's a year today since Hamas-allied militants seized him.

It is the first sign of life from the young serviceman since he was abducted one year ago.

Gilad Shalit's kidnappers demand thousands of Palestinian prisoners be released from Israeli prisons in exchange for his freedom.

While his family said they hoped the tape was a positive sign, the Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, denounced Hamas for the move.

“I think that Hamas uses – very cynically – the suffering of Gilad Shalit, the pain of his family, the pain of Israel in order to dictate its own brutal agenda in the region, in order to undermine the political process,” said Tzipi Livni.