'Egyptian party to discuss Schalit'

Lebanese report claims delegation heading to Damascus will include Omer Suleiman's deputy.

Gilad Schalit 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Gilad Schalit 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A delegation of high-ranking Egyptian officials will visit Damascus in the near future to discuss a prisoner swap for captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar reported Tuesday, quoting unnamed Egyptian officials. The sources said that Egypt's deputy intelligence chief General Mohammed Ibrahim will be among the officials present, and will try to convince the various Palestinian factions to remove the obstacles for a deal. But the sources denied that a deal was imminent and stressed that an agreement required a ripening of political conditions and compromises on both sides. The Jerusalem Post report could not independently verify the report. A Palestinian report Sunday alleged that Schalit would be released in a prisoner swap deal by the end of September. According to the report, the visit of a Hamas delegation in Cairo on Saturday, as well as a meeting convened by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Israel's top officials, indicated significant progress in negotiations which would bring about Schalit's release by the end of Ramadan. The Prime Minister's Office refused to respond to the claims.