Shalit - First Egypt, then home
Reproduction photo
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Noam and Aviva Shalit
Photo: Hagai Aharon

'30 prisoners stand in way of Shalit release'

London-based Arab newspaper reports dispute over 30 prisoners all that is keeping exchange deal between Israel, Hamas from being realized

Israel's refusal to release 30 prisoners is the only remaining point of contention in the negotiations to free kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, the London-based 'al-Sharq al-Awsat' reported on Saturday.


According to the report, Israel and Hamas have already agreed on the price for Shalit's release – 450 Palestinian prisoners deemed of 'a high quality' by Hamas (i.e. prisoners with blood on their hands as well as prisoners who are infirm, female or underage).


However the list of names Hamas is insisting on contains some 30 names which Israel is so far refusing to consider setting free.


The details of the actual exchange have also been agreed upon. The first stage will see Israel release 350 prisoners while Hamas transfers Shalit to Egyptian custody. The second stage of the exchange will then call for Israel to release 100 additional prisoners and, in return, receive Shalit.


Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with Shalit's parents Aviva and Noam on Friday, who later said the one-hour meeting was "unsatisfactory."


Earlier in the week, Noam Shalit launched an attack on the government, claiming that it had deceived him by agreeing to a truce deal which did not include his son's release.


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to leave for Cairo on Tuesday in order to discuss the Shalit issue with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.


The prime minister will ask Mubarak to intensify current efforts to secure the release of kidnapped Gilad Shalit. Egypt successfully brokered the shaky Gaza truce. Mubarak will be asked to use Egypt's influence over Hamas to help expedite the process and perhaps compromise on its demands from Israel.


פרסום ראשון: 06.21.08, 16:09
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