big schalit rally 311.
(photo credit: AP)
A senior Hamas official in Gaza said Sunday that a prisoner swap deal to free captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit was at a standstill, following a meeting between Israeli officials and prisoners.
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According to the Hamas source, the Israeli officials stated that they were unwilling to make any further concessions in negotations intended to free Schalit in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners currently being held in Israeli jails.
Last week, it was reported that a Hamas offical met with Israeli officials in Netanya.
According to the Palestinian sources, Hamas member and former treasurer for the Ismail Haniyeh government, Omar Abed Al-Razak, arrived in Israel to discuss a number of pressing issues.
The sources did not give reasons for the meeting, but the officials apparently discussed the release of Schalit, who has been kept captive by Hamas for over four years, as well as the recent rocket attacks in Eilat, Ashkelon and and the Negev.
Other sources connected the meeting with the announcement by the Hamas
leadership in Damascus, which has called for the kidnapping of Israeli
settlers by Hamas operatives in the West Bank, to be used as bargaining
chips for the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Reports said that the meeting with Abed Al-Razak was meant to warn Hamas
against attempting to kidnap Israelis in the West Bank.