The Prime Minister's Office denied Egyptian reports on Thursday that a deal for captive soldier Gilad Schalit's release is imminent.

"Negotiations on Gilad Schalit are continuous and intensive, but there is no breakthrough in the matter," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.

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Former Egyptian ambassador to Israel Muhammad Bassiouni was quoted in Egyptian paper Al Mesryoon on Thursday as saying that an agreement to release captive Schalit could be reached within hours.

However, Bassiouni denied the report in an interview with Israel Radio Arabic. He added that there are still major problems that are preventing the deal from coming to fruition, but Egypt is making major efforts to solve them.

Hamas also denied the report, Israel Radio reported.

On Wednesday, DPA reported that Defense Ministry Diplomatic-Security Bureau Amos Gilad arrived in Cairo for talks with the Egyptian military government about the Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange deal and the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Gaza.

Also on Wednesday, Homeland Security Minister Matan Vilnai said that terrorists in Gaza who had links to the 2006 abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit are "dying in unfortunate accidents."

The comments appear to be the first major hint by a public official that Israel is systematically targeting Schalit's abductors.

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