'Clinton, Carter to mediate Schalit'

Unconfirmed Arab report says the two may arrive in Gaza for talks.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 17, 2010 13:52
1 minute read.
bill clinton dramatic 248.88 AP

bill clinton dramatic 248.88 AP. (photo credit: AP [file])

An Egyptian newspaper report Saturday claims that Former US presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter may visit the Gaza Strip to broker a deal for the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit and to discuss the blockade on the Strip.

According to the report in Al Mesryoon, Washington, Cairo and Hamas are in talks to facilitate the visit. Such a visit, the paper noted, would signify greater openness by the Obama Administration towards Hamas, as previous contacts have been held unofficially and at a much lower level.

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The report was not confirmed by any official Egyptian sources and could not be independently verified by The Jerusalem Post.

The possibility of Clinton serving as mediator in a prisoner swap deal with Hamas was raised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu earlier this month when he met with the former president in the US.

Meanwhile Gilad Schalit’s family remains in a tent site outside the Prime Minister’s Residence, where they have been living for the past week, and where they say they will stay until the soldier returns home.

On Wednesday, Day 1,480 since Schalit’s abduction, the tent of activists protesting against what they say is government inaction continued to draw passersby – pedestrians and drivers – who asked for the yellow ribbons that have come to symbolize the hope for Schalit’s return.

“We have made no progress with the government,” Noam Schalit, Gilad’s father, said, as he sat with his wife, Aviva, and friends in the crowded tent.

A week after the 11-day march for Schalit came to a close in the capital, advocates for Schalit’s safe return home have reported an increase in support. The campaign is still riding the recent outpouring of support generated during the march, according to Schalit activists.


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