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'Prisoner exchange partly worked out'
06/27/2007
Mubarak: The deal will remain in the same format; the numbers won't go up.
Some details of an Egyptian-mediated deal to free captured IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit in return for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have already been worked out and negotiations will continue "when things calm down in Gaza," Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said in a newspaper interview published Wednesday. Israel and Hamas agreed that between 400 and 500 Palestinians would be released in return for Schalit, Mubarak told Yediot Aharonot on Wednesday.
  • Burning Issues 36: The Hamas dilemma
  • Mubarak: PA conflict cannot stop talks But the sides have yet to agree on the identities of the Palestinian prisoners to be released, Mubarak said. Israel has repeatedly said it would not release those responsible for killing Israelis. The stop-and-start negotiations were cut off when Hamas seized full control of Gaza in mid-June after routing their rivals from Fatah. Egypt condemned the Hamas takeover and pulled its mediating delegation out of Gaza. "When things calm down in Gaza the security delegation will return and we will continue the mission," Mubarak said. He said he did not expect the terms of the final agreement to be markedly different from those already agreed upon. "The deal will remain in the same format, and the numbers won't go up," he said.
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