Hamas: 'Israel not serious about negotiating'

June 30, 2006 13:48


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Israel is not serious about negotiating for the release of a kidnapped IDF soldier, but is playing for time while trying discover where he's being held, a Hamas official said Friday. Mohammed Nazal, a Damascus-based member of the Hamas politburo, said he personally did not have the details of the agreement that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said had been reached with several Hamas leaders for a conditional release of the soldier. Mubarak, in an interview published Friday by Egypt's leading pro-government newspaper, Al-Ahram, said Israel has not accepted the militants' terms. "I believe he was referring to the original proposal whereby the prisoner would be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners," Nazal told The Associated Press. Nazal also dismissed as rumors reports that said Hamas is sending a representative to Egypt soon. "Israel is negotiating by fire," he said. "They're buying time until they can locate the soldier through intelligence and then try to free him."

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