Report: Egyptian general in Israel to discuss Schalit deal

June 23, 2009 14:11

An Egyptian general has arrived unexpectedly in Tel Aviv in order to discuss a series of issues, including the negotiations for the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, according to Palestinian sources. A Palestinian Web site reported that the general, Muhammad Ibrahim, was also expected to discuss the Gaza blockade and the passages to the Strip. According to Palestinian sources, Israel conveyed a message to Hamas through former US president Jimmy Carter in which Jerusalem expressed willingness to release most of the prisoners that Hamas is demanding be released in exchange for Schalit. "Israel is awaiting the letter of reply from Gilad Schalit to the letter transferred to him by his parents, Noam and Aviva, in order to verify that he is still alive," the Palestinian sources said. "Afterwards Israel will agree to advance the negotiations for Schalit's release and end the affair." The sources claimed that the Israeli government was eager to see Schalit return and had therefore agreed to release many of the prisoners on the list, including senior Hamas members. The Jerusalem Post could not independently confirm the report.

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