Hamas is "positively looking into" the efforts of the German mediator working to secure the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, a senior member of the Palestinian movement told the London-based Arabic-language al-Hayat newspaper in an interview published Tuesday.
According to the source, the mediator presented "new ideas" which might lead to a breakthrough in the negotiations between Israel and Hamas.
The German mediator, Gerhard Konrad, visited the Gaza Strip last week. The newspaper quoted a senior Hamas member as saying that Konrad's visit lasted two days and included "intensive talks" with Hamas leaders on "new ideas he brought along to advance the matter."
The source noted that Hamas was waiting for the results of the mediator's talks with Israel. He stressed, however, that the Palestinian group was sticking to its stand that Israel must release all prisoners whose names were included in a list handed by the organization if it wants to see Shalit released.
According to Hamas, the decision on whether to advance the talks or not is all up to Israel. "Signing an agreement will be made possible only when Israel shows serious intentions and sincerity to do so," said a group source.
He noted that "we don't want to keep Shalit with us, but we will only agree to release him as part of an honorable swap deal."
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