Photo: AP
'No way back.' Abu Marzouk
Photo: AP
Kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit
Photo: Reuters

Hamas official: German mediator failed

Islamic organization's deputy politburo chief says Gerhard Konrad failed to secure prisoner exchange deal that would see release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit; claims breakthrough no longer possible

Hamas' Deputy Politburo Chief Moussa Abu Marzouk said in an interview with al-Hayat daily newspaper that Gerhard Konrad, the German mediator working to secure the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, has failed in his attempts to obtain an agreement between the two sides and will retire from his post.


"The German mediator has failed and there is no way back,' Abu Marzouk noted, adding "he has not been successful in securing a prisoner exchange deal, and now a breakthrough is no longer possible."


According to Abu Marzouk, the latest proposal stipulating the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, "has not managed to change the position of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."


The Hamas official added that Konrad did not make any special efforts to renew the previous understandings achieved between the Islamic organization and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government.


"We are not willing to return to the starting point of negotiations," he stressed, noting that "the role of the German mediator has ended, however we will not object to his return if the Israeli government wants it."


Israeli officials estimated that Abu-Marzouk's comments were meant to pressure Netanyahu into advancing the deal.


'Illogical proposal'

Meanwhile, a source affiliated with Hamas revealed Konrad's swap proposal from January, which was rejected by the organization.


According to the source, the offer suggested to release some of the prisoners and expel them abroad or to the Gaza Strip, while reducing the punishment of prisoners given life sentences and releasing them in the year 2040.


"This is an illogical offer and we are not willing to accept it," said the source.


Noam Shalit, the father of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit said on Saturday that he received no new information from any official Israeli source that varifies Abu Marzouk's comments. 


"It could be a fabrication, or an attempt to apply psychological pressure. It could also be true, but we have no information to verify the comments," he said.



פרסום ראשון: 04.02.11, 11:44
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