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Moussa Abu Marzouk
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Photo: Noam Rotem
Gilad Shalit. 1,804 days in captivity
Photo: Noam Rotem
Shalit deal: Abu Marzouk heads to Cairo?
Hamas journal says movement's deputy politburo chief expected to give Egyptians 'final answer' on possible prisoner exchange with Israel, may meet with head of movement's military wing
Gilad Shalit to be released soon? Hamas' deputy politburo chief Moussa Abu Marzouk is expected to arrive in Cairo on Friday for a meeting with a "senior movement official" to discuss a possible prison exchange deal with Israel, Hamas journal a-Risala reported.

 

According to the report, Abu Marzouk is expected to give the Egyptian side Hamas' "final answer" on a "move aimed at completing the prisoner issue".

 

 

The Egyptian source quoted by the newspaper did not mention the name of the senior official Abu Marzouk was expected to meet with, but according to the report it may be the head of Hamas' military wing.  

 

"He'll clearly talk to Ahmed Jabari, who has the final word when it comes to a swap deal," the newspaper wrote.

 

A website affiliated with Hamas reported Thursday that the heads of the movement's military wing, including Jabari, had arrived in Cairo to discuss a deal which would secure the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

 

Izat a-Rishak, a member of Hamas' political bureau in Damascus, denied that progress had been made in the negotiations. In a statement published on the movement's website, he blamed Israel for the failure to reach an agreement.

 

"The deal is still stuck due to the stubbornness of (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and his government. They are responsible for the delay," he stated.

 

The captive soldier's parents, Noam and Aviva Shalit, met with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Thursday afternoon. They said after the meeting that they had received no news about progress in the effort to free their son.

 

The statement came six hours after an Egyptian official claimed that a deal to release Shalit was about to be sealed.

 

Meanwhile, French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy responded to a letter sent to her by Netanyahu's wife Sara, saying that France was doing everything to put an end to Shalit's suffering.

 

"Just like you, I hope with all my heart that the affair will soon come to an end," she wrote.

 

 

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