Mashaal: Schalit alive and in good condition

Meanwhile, Haniyeh's spokesman quits citing Hamas's policy towards Fatah.

hamas spokesman 88.298 (photo credit: CNN [file])
hamas spokesman 88.298
(photo credit: CNN [file])
Hamas leader abroad, Khaled Mashaal, told CNN Saturday that captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit was alive and in good condition. Mashaal told CNN that Hamas was in negotiations with Israel, through Egyptian mediators, regarding a prisoner swap. Meanwhile, Ghazi Hamad, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's spokesman, resigned from his post on Friday morning, citing the Islamist organization's refusal to take the initiative in negotiating a deal with Fatah. Asharq Alawsat reported that Hamad was strongly opposed to events in Gaza and believed Hamas made numerous mistakes in the Strip. The London-based newspaper went on to say that Hamad believed Hamas needed to show more flexibility towards Fatah in order to "to get out of the trap." Hamad served as Haniyeh's spokesman since the Hamas prime minister was appointed and had been one of the group's spokesmen for several years. Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said that Hamad would continue to work in Haniyeh's office, albeit in a different capacity. Taha stressed that there was no connection between Hamad's decision to resign and his recent contacts with Fatah. Hamad's replacement is expected to be Taher Nunu, who was Mahmoud Zahar's spokesman when Zahar served as Palestinian Authority foreign minister. Nunu recently stated that Hamas's military wing should be integrated into the Gaza police force. Meanwhile, the Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, declared that all its military activities, including Kassam rocket fire, were being coordinated with Hamas, Israel Radio reported. Al-Quds Brigades spokesman Abu Ahmed said the group could not decide on its own to stop or renew the rocket fire. In recent weeks, the Islamic Jihad has been launching increasingly large numbers of Kassam rockets into Israel while Hamas has mainly been firing mortar shells.