Gilad Shalit. 1,254 days in captivity
Noam Shalit speaks with reporters
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Report: German mediator awaits Hamas response

Al-Arabiya says Shalit deal mediator in Gaza to convey Israel's latest offer to Hamas, await counter-offer

Al-Arabiya TV network reported Monday that the German mediator on the prisoner exchange deal for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit has arrived in the Gaza Strip in order to transmit Israel's latest offer to Hamas.


According to the network, the mediator is slated to meet with Hamas representatives later on Monday, but will not receive an answer until after Hamas leaders from Gaza Strip meet their colleagues in Syria. 


Hamas sources did not officially confirm the report, however Hamas's Interior Minister in the Gaza Strip Fathi Hamad said he believed a deal would be reached by the end of the year.


Speaking during a convention of prisoners' parents, held ahead of Eid el-Adha, Hamad said that "we hope to complete the deal before the end of the year, in time for Hamas's 14th anniversary, which is held on December 14."


Posters of Palestinian prisoners in Gaza (Photo: AP)


"December 27 will also mark the first anniversary of the war against the (Gaza) Strip, so we hope these two dates will coincide with the celebrations in honor of the released prisoners," he added.


Hamas official: 50 names still disputed

Meanwhile, more reports continued to surface about the remaining disagreements between the two sides.

A senior Hamas official told the Associated Press that the Islamic militant group is still sparring with Israel over the names of 50 prisoners it wants released in exchange for captive soldier Gilad Shalit.


According to the source, Israel refuses to release certain leaders from Hamas's military wing.


On Sunday, In response to a High Court appeal, Israel officially exposed the details of the future deal, according to which 450 prisoners selected by Hamas will be released during the first stage, followed by 530 additional prisoners selected by Israel.


On Monday, Gilad Shalit's parents, Noam and Aviva continued to hold meetings with cabinet ministers, who will have to vote on the final exchange deal. The two met with Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver.


פרסום ראשון: 11.30.09, 17:47
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