Hamas: Negotiations over Shalit release halted

Senior Hamas official Mohammed Nazal said on Friday morning that negotiations over the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit were stopped due to Israel's refusal to respond to the kidnappers' demands. In an interview with the London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds al-Arabi, Nazal said that Israel was sticking to its position that Shalit must be released with no preconditions. According to Israel Radio, Nazal called on Shalit's father to pressure Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to stop Israeli "aggression" in northern Gaza and to release a large number of Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails.