Gilad Schalit in video 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters)
A senior Hamas official said on Wednesday that his movement expects “positive
developments” in efforts to achieve a prisoner swap with Israel in return for
IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.
Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the
Damascus-based Hamas “political bureau,” said that his optimism was based on
“internal pressure” on the Israeli government and changes in the makeup of the
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Abu Marzouk’s remarks were published in the London-based
“Hamas is very interested in reaching a [prisoner
exchange] deal,” Abu Marzouk said, pointing out that there was no change in
Hamas’s conditions for accomplishing a deal.
Hamas, he added, continues
to insist on the release of prisoners who are serving lengthy sentences, opposes
the deportation of inmates to other countries, and won’t compromise on the
number of prisoners it has demanded in return for Schalit.
Hamas has in
the past demanded the release of some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli
jails, including many who are serving multiple life sentences.
this week, the commander of Hamas’s armed wing, Mohammed al-Ja’bari, visited
Cairo for talks with top Egyptian security officials on the prospects of
reaching a prisoner swap agreement with Israel.
During his stay in Cairo,
Ja’bari also met with Abu Marzouk and discussed the case of Schalit.