Barghouti 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Saudi newspaper al-Madina on Tuesday reported that Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu has agreed to release senior Fatah man Marwan Barghouti as part of a deal for the release of captive soldier Gilad Schalit.
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The report said the German mediator told Hamas that Israel was willing to include Barghouti in the deal, but would not add the remaining names on Hamas' list.
The Prime Minister's Office refused to comment on the matter, according to Israel Radio.
Meanwhile, Hamas said it was ready to return to talks with Israel over
the prisoner exchange deal, senior official Mahmoud Zahar said in an
interview with Palestinian news agency SPA on Tuesday. Just one day
earlier, Zahar had told Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram
Israeli talk about progress in the prisoner exchange negotiations was
exaggerated, and intended to divert attention from the harsh actions the
state carries out against Palestinian prisoners in its jails.
Earlier in the week, Netanyahu confirmed media rumors that negotiations
with Hamas had been renewed via German mediator Gerhard Konrad, who was
reported to have met with senior Hamas officials in the past few weeks
regarding the prisoner exchange talks.
Netanyahu on Sunday said that the government is "constantly working in
various ways to try and bring Gilad home," going on to say that its
primary method was through the "German-mediated negotiations that were
renewed a few weeks ago."