Hamas: Fifty names holding up deal

Egypt Schalit deal woul

A senior Hamas official says the group is still sparring with Israel over the names of 50 prisoners it wants released in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. The Hamas official said Israel was still balking at including prominent political leaders and top Hamas terrorists it holds. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the German-mediated negotiations. In Gaza, Hamas' interior minister said he hoped a deal would be reached by year's end. Israel's latest response to the revised list of prisoners presented by Hamas was expected to be communicated by the German mediator, who arrived in Gaza from Cairo on Monday afternoon. Earlier, senior Hamas Diplomatic Bureau official Moussa Abu Marzuk met with Egyptian leaders and the German mediator in Cairo, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported. According to the report, Abu Marzuk traveled to Egypt in order to present the position conveyed by the organization's leadership in Damascus, with whom a delegation of Hamas officials from Gaza met last week. The publication quoted a source in Gaza as saying that progress had been made in the negotiations for the release of captured IDF soldier St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit. The source stated that although the gap between the two sides was beginning to close, Hamas would not agree to reach a compromise concerning the release of Ibrahim Hamed, who masterminded a slew of terror attacks against Israel. On Monday morning, the Schalits spoke with Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon. They were scheduled to speak with Immigration Minister Sofa Landver and Vice Premier Silvan Shalom later in the day.