Hamas says Israel balked at deal on prisoner swap

Hamas says Israel balked

The leader of the Palestinian terror group Hamas said Israel is refusing to meet its demands for freeing an Israeli soldier it has held for three and a half years. Khaled Mashaal stressed Wednesday that there will be no deal until Israel agrees to the group's conditions in full. He gave no details, but Israel has objected to freeing some of the hundreds of terrorists Hamas wants released in return. The Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit, was captured in a 2006 cross-border raid by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. There was optimism last month that a deal was eminent in negotiations brokered by Egypt and Germany. But since then, Hamas officials have spoken of an Israeli refusal to hand over all the prisoners it wants freed.