West Bank – Hamas Official: Shalit Talks Deadlocked


In this file photo, Noam Shalit (R), the father of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, walks past a cut out of his son in a soldier's uniform (L), and a large banner at the protest ten  nearby the Jerusalem residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on 25 June 2011, on the fifth anniversary of the cross border raid in which Gilad Shalit was captured by Hamas militants. EPA/JIM HOLLANDERWest Bank – “Israeli media reports suggesting that progress has been made in the Shalit deal are baseless,” Hassan Yusuf, a senior Hamas official in the West Bank, said on Thursday.

Yusuf, who was quoted by the Islamist group’s newspaper al-Risalah, said that negotiations meant to secure the release of the kidnapped IDF soldier were deadlocked.

Meanwhile, Hamas operative Abdullah Barghouti, who is serving 67 life terms in Israel for terror offenses, claimed that senior defense establishment officials have been negotiating part of the deal with him – within prison walls.

“When the Israeli government proves that it is serious, Hamas will negotiate on Shalit,” he said. Israel’s pressure in the case, he concluded, will not prevail.

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