Gilad Shalit (archives)
Photo: Ofer Amram

Palestinians: Progress in Shalit talks

Hamas source says prisoner swap negotiations 'serious,' German mediator visited Strip 'more than once'

Sources within the Hamas reported Friday of recent progress in the negotiations over the release of captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.


The Palestinian news agency Ma'an quoted a Hamas source as saying that Israel and the Islamist group were conducting "serious" talks on a possible prisoner exchange deal and revealed that the German intermediary had recently visited the Gaza Strip "more than once."


The Hamas source refused to elaborate on the issues discussed during the talks.


In another possible indication that the negotiations have been resumed, Hamas warned Gaza's residents not to reply to text messages from Israel for fear this may help the Jewish state uncover Shalit's location.


"This path leads to the collapse of security and collaboration with the Zionist enemy," Hamas' Interior Ministry said. "We urge citizens not to contact the Zionist intelligence service via this phone number in any way."


Norwegian media reported last week that ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak told US general David Petraeus in June 2009 that Syria and Qatar had sabotaged a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas.


According to the report, which is based on a WikiLeaks document, Mubarak claimed that Syria and Qatar offered Hamas $50 million to keep Shalit in captivity in order to impede a prisoner exchange agreement brokered by Egypt.


The document does not specify whether Hamas accepted the offer and does not contain details regarding the proposed payment method.



פרסום ראשון: 02.18.11, 11:38
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