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Haaretz - Mubarak to Netanyahu: Accept Hamas' demands for Shalit deal

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    Haaretz - Last update - 13:53 01/01/2010 Mubarak to Netanyahu: Accept Hamas demands for Shalit deal By Haaretz Service
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1 7:02 AM
      Haaretz -
      Last update - 13:53 01/01/2010

      Mubarak to Netanyahu: Accept Hamas' demands for Shalit deal
      By Haaretz Service


      Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has advised Prime Minister Benjamin
      Netanyahu to accept Hamas' demands for a prisoner swap deal that would
      see the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the Saudi
      daily Al-Madina reported on Friday.

      According to the report, Mubarak told Netanyahu during their talks in
      Cairo earlier this week that Hamas would not give up on the list of
      prisoners it wants freed in the swap.

      If Israel agrees to show some flexibility on the matter, Mubarak was
      reported as saying, then Egypt could guarantee that the deal go through
      and even convince Hamas to begin negotiating for a long-term cease-fire
      in the Gaza Strip.

      Netanyahu did not give a concrete response to the proposal, according to
      the daily, saying only that Israel would give it consideration and reply
      when the time was right.

      In recent weeks, Israel has reportedly been close to reaching a deal
      with Hamas that would see the release of hundreds of Palestinian
      prisoners in exchange for Shalit, who was captured by Gaza militants in
      June, 2006.

      Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said Thursday that Hamas has not
      accepted Israel's latest offer, but that the door for completing a
      prisoner swap deal "has not been closed."

      Hamas movement's leadership held two-day intensive talks in Damascus to
      discuss the latest Israeli offer surrounding the deal.

      Israel is reportedly still refusing to release 22 Palestinian prisoners
      involved in some of the worst terror attacks, including Tanzim leader
      Marwan Barghouti, secretary general of the Popular Front for the
      Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Sa'adat, and two of the heads of Hamas'
      military wing in the West Bank, Ibrahim Hamad and Abdullah Barghouti,
      who are responsible for the murders of dozens of Israelis in suicide

      The names on Israel's list include 15 militants from the West Bank and
      seven from the Gaza Strip.

      Israel is also reportedly refusing to release 44 prisoners from East
      Jerusalem and 20 Israeli Arabs arrested before the Oslo Accord.

      After the debates of the Israeli offer in Damascus finished, Hamas said
      that the Israeli offer was not accepted, but it would ask the German
      mediator to continue his efforts until the deal between Hamas and Israel
      was finalized.

      Hamas leader did not say if the movement handed its response to the
      German mediator in Cairo or whether it will hand him its response later
      in Gaza.

      Zahar said that upon his return from Damascus to Cairo with two other
      senior Hamas leaders, the delegation discussed with the Egyptian
      officials the Shalit deal, inter-Palestinian reconciliation and the
      steel barrier being built by Egypt at the Gaza-Egyptian border
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