'Al Hayat': Suleiman to expedite Schalit deal

Hamas source tells paper Egyptian intel chief headed for Israel; J'lem sabotaging possible swap.

February 6, 2008 10:46
omar suleiman 298 aj

omar suleiman 298 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])


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Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman will arrive in Israel in the coming days to discuss expediting a deal for the release of captured IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit, according to a report in the London-based Arabic daily Al Hayat Wednesday. According to the report, Suleiman will also discuss security arrangements along the Rafah border, which Egypt has been attempting to seal since it was breached two weeks ago. During a recent visit to Egypt, a Hamas delegation recently discussed the details of the Schalit deal with Suleiman, a source in the organization told the paper. "The Europeans took an active part in the intercession between the two sides," the Hamas source said. "The Israelis displayed flexibility in the conditions that they set down. After first refusing to release prisoners with blood on their hands they now do not insist on it." Hamas prefers Egypt to the Europeans as a broker in the talks, the source told Al Hayat, adding that he expected direct negotiations to resume in the near future. "We have gotten used to [Israel] stopping the negotiations with ridiculous excuses whenever the discussions move forward and stand on the brink of a solution," he said.

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