(photo credit: )
Negotiations between Israel and Hamas over a prisoner swap which would bring
to the release of captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit have reached an impasse,
and the reason is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, according to senior Gaza-based
Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar.
"After the interference of the political element, after the
interference of Netanyahu personally, there was a big regression and
retraction," Zahar said on the BBC World News' Hardtalk program that was
broadcast Tuesday. “For this reason, everything now is stopped," Zahar added.
In related news, activists calling for the release of Schalit blocked the Karni border crossing on Tuesday, preventing the access of 10 containers carrying fuel to Gaza.
The containers were diverted to the Kerem Shalom terminal, and the activists - from the Kibbutz Movement - followed the trucks to try and prevent the delivery.
Protest organizer Yoel Marshak said the activists intended to stop the access of fuel to Gaza so long as Israel receives no information on Schalit's condition.
Border Police forces cleared the protesters, eventually allowing the trucks through at Kerem Shalom.
The Free Gilad Schalit Campaign expressed satisfaction that the activists managed to delayed the delivery for several hours.
"We are giving a message to Hamas and to the Israeli government - the Israeli people are capable of getting up and doing something," read a campaign statement. "We don’t have a smidgen of information about Gilad's fate. He is on the way to becoming a second Ron Arad.”
Marshak said that the campaign intended to continue to act to try and hinder Israel's humanitarian gestures to the Gaza Strip. "Its unacceptable that we just give and get nothing in return," he said.