Palestinians: Swap talks deadlocked over 'heavyweight' prisoners
Sources tell Al-Hayat newspaper that Egyptian-mediated negotiations at standstill due to Hamas' insistence that Israel include release of 450 'heavyweight' detainees in deal for captive soldier Shalit; Olmert to brief cabinet on developments
As Israel and Hamas exchange blame over the deadlock in the Cairo negotiations on a prisoner swap, Palestinian sources attributed the standstill to the Islamist group's insistence that Israel release 450 "heavyweight" detainees.
Meanwhile, Egyptian sources familiar with the negotiations were quoted by the London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat on Tuesday as saying that the Israeli emissaries, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin and Ofer Dekel, told the Egyptian mediators that in light of Hamas' demands they have no more room for compromise and must await the cabinet's instructions.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to brief ministers on the latest developments in the talks to secure the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit.
According to a senior source in the PM's Office, "a deal cannot be finalized on such terms, and there's nothing to vote on (in the government session) Tuesday." Officials at Olmert's office added that at this time it is unclear whether more talks will be held vis-à-vis Hamas via Egyptian mediation.
According to updates relayed to government ministers, no vote will be held during Tuesday's cabinet session.
Noam Shalit, the captive soldier's father, was expected to meet with Dekel later in the day.