'Hamas ready to renew Schalit prisoner-swap talks'

Egyptian source tells 'al Hayat' Egypt acting as mediator between sides; Israel reportedly offers $10m. for information on Schalit.

June 22, 2011 14:46
1 minute read.
Gilad Schalit

Gilad Schalit 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

An Egyptian source denied any progress in the prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel in regards to kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit who enters his sixth year in captivity this week, London-based al Hayat reported Wednesday.

The source also told al Hayat that he had received a letter from Hamas with a message for Israel saying the Gazan group was willing to restart negotiations and even reduce the number of prisoners Hamas demands be freed in exchange for Schalit.

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Hamas also complained of the hard line position that Israel had taken in negotiations, which, according the letter, made them "extremely difficult."

The Egyptian source told al Hayat that Hamas rejected the deal formulated by the previous German mediator, and that Cairo was now acting as the intermediary between the two sides.

In related news, Israel Radio said that Israel was continuing its attempts to determine where the kidnapped Schalit was being held in the Gaza strip, sending out text messages offering $10 million for any information on the whereabouts of the hidden soldier.

On Tuesday, Noam Schalit said that all surveys have shown that the Israeli public supports a prisoner exchange deal for his son, despite the risks that such a deal would involve. His comments were made during an interview with Israel Radio.

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