Report: Mashaal to visit Cairo in effort to formulate prisoner-swap deal

Syria-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal will arrive in Cairo on Sunday as part of a renewed effort to formulate a deal with Israel which would include the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit, the East Jerusalem newspaper Al-Quds reported. According to the report, secret contacts between Israel and Hamas have been ongoing through an Egyptian mediator. These negotiations suddenly made significant progress following the visit of Israeli envoy, Ofer Dekel, to Cairo three days ago, the newspaper reported. The report further stated that Mashaal's visit comes in light of the progress, and that the Hamas leader is expected to speak with senior Egyptian officials about the formulation of a prisoner swap deal which would also include a long-term ceasefire agreement with Israel.