Hamas official: Europeans trying to arrange prisoner deal

Osama al-Mazini tells Arabic paper that several, unnamed European nations trying to facilitate deal, previous failures are Israel's fault.

311_Gilad photo on billboard (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
311_Gilad photo on billboard
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A number of European countries have recently tried to revive negotiations between Israel and Hamas for the release of prisoners held by each side, Osama al-Mazini - a Hamas official- revealed on Thursday, according to Army Radio.
In an interview with the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi, cited by Army Radio, Mazini refused to name the specific European countries involved, but clarified that Germany was not involved, since it was already known to be trying to broker official negotiations over a prisoner release - one including kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit - between the two sides.
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"The efforts of these countries have failed because of Israel's refusal to respond to Hamas's demands," Mazini said. He added that the German mediator comes to Gaza once in a while and meets with the Hamas leadership, but no recent developments have surfaced from these meetings.
Last Friday, some 200 people marked International Human Rights Day by demonstrating outside the Red Cross offices in Tel Aviv, calling for action to bring about the fulfilling of the basic human rights for Gilad Schalit.
Gilad's father, Noam, addressed the crowd, saying that "Gilad's being held hostage for purposes of extortion and negotiation without any basic human rights is clearly an insufferable war crime that is worthy of thunderous condemnation from the entire free world."