'Hamas will not work with German mediator again'

Deputy chairman of Hamas political wing accuses German mediator, Gerhard Konrad, of adopting Israeli position on prisoner swap deal.

June 27, 2011 10:49
1 minute read.
Hamas leaders Khaled Meshaal, Moussa Abu Marzouk

Hamas leaders Khaled Meshaal and Moussa Abu Marzouk 311 (R). (photo credit: Khaled Al Hariri / Reuters)

The deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouk, told London-based al-Hayat on Monday that his organization would not work with German mediator Gerhard Konrad again after he failed to secure a prisoner exchange agreement between Hamas and Israel in negotiations for the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

The last time talks broke down with the German mediator, Abu Marzouk said that while Konrad's role in the negotiations had ended, Hamas would "not oppose his return if the Israeli government wants it."

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Marzouk said in the most recent interview with al-Hayat that Konrad adopted the position of the Israeli government in negotiations over the prisoner swap, describing the German mediator's offer as "radical and unfair."

The announcement came after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated on Sunday that he had previously agreed to the terms of the German mediator for the prisoner swap. Israel has yet to receive Hamas’s formal answer to a German proposal to secure Schalit’s release in exchange for a willingness to release 1,000 Palestinian security prisoners, Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet session.

He spoke just one day after the Schalit family marked the fifth anniversary of their son’s kidnapping

Konrad has been meeting with both sides since late 2010 to try to broker a deal.

The list of 1,000 prisoners Hamas demands be released in exchange for Schalit includes convicted murderers who killed Israelis. The list also includes classed parolees. For the parolees, their activities outside of prison would be monitored and repeat offenses would land them back in jail.

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