Mashaal, says ready to negotiate
Photo: AFP
Shalit march in Nahariya
Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yeshuv
1,469 in captivity
Photo: AP

Mashaal says willing to resume Shalit talks

After months of standstill in negotiations for release of captive Israeli soldier, Hamas politburo chief tells Jordanian paper movement is ready to talk, but stresses this does not mean it is backing down on its demands

Against the backdrop of the Shalit march and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech, in which he presented his position on negotiations, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal said his movement is willing to resume talks on the matter of captive soldier Gilad Shalit.


In an interview to Jordanian newspaper al-Sabil, which is to be published on Sunday, Mashaal said his movement's willingness to return to negotiations, which have been frozen for months now, does not mean the group is waiving its previous demands or withdrawing from its terms or position.


"If one soldier is not enough to free our prisoners, we will do everything in order to capture more soldiers," he warned.


Mashaal also addressed the siege on the Gaza Strip, and Israel's easements and entry of goods. He said the siege remains in place, and said he believes the Palestinian resistance organizations in the West Bank are likely to soon resume activity against Israel.


On Monday Mashaal addressed the Shalit matter, saying, "The Israeli leadership has withdrawn its proposals and capitulated to the American administration's pressures so that the prisoner swap won't bolster Hamas and weaken the Palestinian negotiator (the Palestinian Authority)."


He added, "I'm telling them today – we have certain demands in exchange for Gilad and as time passes we will no longer be satisfied with those demands. The demands will be higher, and so will the price."


Meanwhile, the Shalit family's march to Jerusalem continues, and on Friday the marchers reached the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Caesarea, where they held a Shabbat ceremony – with one empty chair.


The captive soldier's mother, Aviva Shalit responded to Netanyahu's speech in which he said her son would not be released at all costs.


"We never asked for release at all costs, the cost was determined by the Israeli government. Now we are saying enough!" she said.


Gilad Shalit was kidnapped into the Gaza Strip 1,469 days ago


פרסום ראשון: 07.03.10, 11:26
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