Officials: After Johnston, Schalit could be next

July 5, 2007 08:21

Security sources expressed a gaurded optimism Thursday morning regarding the possibility that the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston would lead to the freeing of abducted IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, Army Radio reported. "Hamas wishes to obtain international support, and the accolades it received after the BBC correspondent's release yesterday could prompt the organization to speed-up its negotiations with Israel," the source said. However, another source with more expertise on the negotiations to free Schalit, said Thursday morning that, since the Hamas takeover of Gaza, negotiations were at a standstill. The source added that Israel had yet to receive the list of prisoners that Hamas wished freed in exchange for Schalit.

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