Mashaal: Schalit and truce not linked in the final Egyptian offer

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Tuesday night reiterated Hamas statements that the release of Gilad Schalit had not been tied to a Gaza cease-fire deal. "The enemy merge the issue of Gilad Shalit with the truce. We rejected this and in the final Egyptian offer the two issues are not linked," he told Reuters. "The Gilad Shalit issue is linked to an exchange deal ... whereas the truce involves a bilateral cease-fire, lifting the blockade and opening the crossings," Mashaal added.