Gilad Schalit in video 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters)
A Hamas delegation traveled to Cairo on Tuesday in order to discuss the
release of captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, Israel Radio reported.
Palestnian source told Israel Radio that the possible reconciliation
between Hamas and Fatah will be the main topic of discussion at the
meeting, but Schalit is also on the agenda.
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delegation reportedly includes one of Hamas's leaders, Mahmoud Zahar,
as well as two members of the negotiating team for Schalit, Halil el
Haya and Nizar Awdallah.
the same time that the Hamas delegation was meeting with officials in
Cairo, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sat down with an
Egyptian diplomat in Ramallah.
In the meeting with Egyptian Ambassador to the PA Yasser Othman, Abbas
said, "Egypt is the backbone of our people's aspirations toward having
an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," official
Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA reported.
On the meeting's agenda was reconciliation between Abbas' Fatah and Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip..
Despite the Hamas talks in Cairo, the Prime Minister's Office last week announced
that Hamas has not
responded to Israel's most recent offer for a prisoner exchange deal to
free Schalit in over a year.
The statement came in response to scathing criticism from the soldier's
grandfather in a letter publicized earlier in the day. The PMO said that
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is in constant contact with captured
IDF soldier Gilad Schalit's family, and feels their pain.
Zvi Schalit had charged that every time the media discusses Gilad, Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu invites the soldier's parents, Noam and
Aviva Schalit, to a meeting that does not yield any results. In his
letter, he also accused Netanyahu of cruel cynicism.