A second round of indirect talks between Israeli and Hamas teams negotiating the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit has been scheduled to begin Monday in Cairo, the London-based al-Hayat has reported.
Accordnig to the report, the first round of talks, mediated by Egyptian officials, took place last week, effectively ending a lengthy stalemate.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop
Al-Hayat reported that the teams sat in separate rooms in an Egyptian intelligence building, with mediators acting as messengers passing on "suggestions and ideas".
Last week, reports stated that Ahmed Jabari, known as the head of Hamas's military wing, led a delegation to Cairo to discuss a prisoner exchange deal with intelligence officials.
David Meidan, a Mossad official recently appointed to head the talks on Israel's side, also visited the Egyptian capital last week. Following these developments, Egypt has decided to host the negotiations once again.
Protesters block Palestinian visitors' bus (Photo: Herzl Yosef)
A senior Egyptian official told the paper that there had been no breakthroughs in talks so far, but was hopeful both sides would be flexible.
He added that Hamas had given Jabari full authority to finalize a deal with Israel.
Another source cited by al-Hayat said that there were visible signs of progress. "If there is true desire to strike a deal and if Israel displays willingness to pay the price for Shalit, there will be an agreement," he said.
Meanwhile, some 20 activists blocked a bus carrying visitors of Palestinian security prisoners to Nafha Prison on Monday.
The activists, many of whom are reserve soldiers, hung signs on the bus saying, "Who is visiting Shalit?" and kept it from passing into the parking lot. "No visit for Shalit means no visit for you," they called out.
Ilana Curiel contributed to this report
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook