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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
More than five months after IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit was taken captive by Hamas operatives in a raid on an army outpost at Kerem Shalom on the Gaza border, Egypt's head of intelligence, Omar Suleiman, was expected to arrive Wednesday to discuss an incipient deal for his release.
Suleiman, who is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, plans to share the details of talks in Cairo last weekend with Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Mashaal.
Mashaal met Suleiman - Egypt's point man for the Israeli-Palestinian dispute - the previous day continued the negotiations with other security officials into the evening, an Egyptian security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
No statement was released on the talks, but Mashaal's deputy in Syria, Moussa Abu Marzouk, said that Mashaal had gone to Cairo "to discuss the Israeli soldier issue and the national unity government."
"What most concerns us is the release of our Palestinian prisoners," Abu Marzouk said in a phone interview from the Syrian capital of Damascus.