Hadas ends first round of Schalit talks in Cairo

Netanyahu's special envoy reportedly meets Egyptian intelligence chief and his senior aides.

hagai hadas 248.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
hagai hadas 248.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Israeli envoy Hadai Hadas on Tuesday concluded his first round of talks with top Egyptian intelligence officers in efforts to secure the release of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, officials said. Egypt has been mediating attempts to trade hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel for Schalit, who was captured three years ago in a cross-border raid from Gaza. Schalit has not been seen since then, and the Red Cross has not been permitted to visit him. The officials said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's special envoy met with Egypt's powerful intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and his senior aides in Cairo. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters. It was the first visit to Egypt by Hadas, a former Mossad official who was appointed after Netanyahu took office in March. Netanyahu's office refused to comment. Hamas is seeking the release of hundreds of prisoners held by Israel, many of whom are serving lengthy terms for deadly attacks. Israel has said Hamas's demands are excessive. Last week, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced that Schalit was in good condition and expressed hope he would be released soon. However, he gave no details on where he got his information. A Hamas official later dismissed Mubarak's comments as "wishful thinking."