Conflicting reports on new Schalit prisoner deal

Al Jazeera reports Egypt to present new deal to negotiator in Cairo, while Israeli media says Egypt trying to restart talks based on existing proposal.

May 8, 2011 16:28
1 minute read.
Captured soldier Gilad Schalit in video

Gilad Schalit in video 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters)


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Various news sources reported conflicting stories on a newly-proposed deal to free IDF soldier Gilad Schalit on Sunday. Israel Radio quoted Palestinian sources as saying that a new mechanism would be used to renew negotiations with Hamas, while an Al Jazeera report suggested that an entirely new plan was being proposed.

The Palestinian source was quoted as saying that Egypt suggested Hamas renew talks. The new negotiations would reportedly be based on a previous deal discussed between Israel and Hamas through the German mediator.

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The Egyptian plan calls for representatives of Israel and Hamas to meet in Cairo and hold negotiations on a prisoner swap deal through a mediator.

The Palestinian source said that Hamas has agreed to the Egyptian initiative and is awaiting a reply from Israel. According to the source, Egypt is not offering the draft of a new prisoner swap deal, but rather is offering a new way for the sides to take up negotiations from a previous point.

Al Jazeera reported on Sunday that Egyptian intelligence services have, in fact, formulated a new draft to secure the release of Schalit, which Hamas views as acceptable.

According to the report, Egyptian officials will present the new draft to a newly appointed negotiator who is scheduled to visit the country in the following days.

Following the signing of the national unity agreement by Hamas and Fatah, Egypt reportedly increased its role in negotiating a prisoner exchange.

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