Conflicting reports on Schalit deal

Hamas sources quoted as saying German involvement in talks "caused things to move," but no breakthrough.

Conflicting reports surrounded possible progress on a deal to release captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit on Wednesday morning, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was set to meet with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell in London, and a delegation of Hamas leaders was in Egypt for Palestinian unity talks. German sources on Wednesday morning cited progress in talks to free the solider, according to Israel Radio, seemingly confirming a Palestinian report from Tuesday evening. Reuters quoted senior Hamas official Ayman Taha as saying, "There is nothing new except the German intervention, which caused things to move." He stressed, however, that the matter had "not yet reached a breakthrough." According to Palestinian news agency Ma'an, the Hamas delegation which left the Gaza Strip for Cairo on Tuesday, led by Mahoud Zahar, was set to discuss Palestinian unity with Egyptian mediators. Nonetheless, many media outlets made connections between the visit, and the issue of the kidnapped soldier. The reports came as Jewish communities around the world planned solidarity events for Friday, the soldier's 23rd birthday.