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'No breakthrough.' Zahar
Photo: AP
French FM with Gilad Shalit's father
Photo: AP
Hamas' Zahar: Shalit talks held in secret
Member of terror group's politburo tells Libyan delegation says prisoner exchange talks kept secret because of reports' effect on families of Palestinian prisoners

Hamas politburo member Mahmoud al-Zahar said Friday the negotiations on the release of captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit were being conducted in complete secrecy.

 

Zahar said there was no breakthrough in the talks on a prisoner exchange deal, apparently hinting that Hamas was still awaiting Israel's response.

 

He added that any piece of information published by news outlets affects the families of Palestinians who are set to be released by Israel in case a deal is signed.

 

Last week a senior Hamas figure confirmed that German mediator Gerhard Conrad visited Gaza a number of times over the past few months and presented "new and positive ideas" regarding a prisoner exchange agreement.

 

Speaking to activists from the Libyan Al-Quds 5 convoy, which entered Gaza through Egypt with humanitarian supplies, Zahar criticized French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, who was incorrectly quoted as saying the capture of Shalit was a "war crime."

 

Zahar said the remark was indicative of the "hypocrisy of some European countries."

 

Relatives of Palestinians who are imprisoned in Israel hurled eggs at Alliot-Marie during a visit to Gaza Friday and narrowly missed hitting her with a shoe because they mistakenly believed she had called Shalit's capture a "war crime".

 

The remark had actually been made by the soldier's father after meeting the French minister the day before, in his campaign to win the release of his son, who was captured in a 2006 cross-border raid by terrorists with ties to Hamas.

 

AP contributed to the report

 

 

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