Hamas demands ‘honorable’ swap deal

PressTV – Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:53AM

At least 6,700 Palestinians are currently held in 10 prisons and three detention camps in Israel, according to Palestinian figures.
An agreement on the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is possible, should Tel Aviv show serious intention in making “an honorable swap deal,” Hamas has announced.

“Signing an agreement will be made possible only when Israel shows serious intentions and sincerity to do so,” said a senior member of Hamas on Tuesday.

“We don’t want to keep Shalit with us, but we will only agree to release him as part of an honorable swap deal,” the Israeli news website, Ynet, quoted the official as saying.

The remarks came as Palestinian sources say the German mediator between Israel and Hamas presented ‘new ideas’ on prisoner swap deal during his visit to Gaza last week.

According to the source, the mediator presented “new ideas” which might lead to a breakthrough in the negotiations over the prisoner’s issue.

The German mediator, Gerhard Konrad, paid a two-day visit to the Gaza Strip last week, during which Konrad held “intensive talks” with Hamas leaders on “new ideas he brought along to advance the matter,” said the Hamas official.

According to the source, Hamas was waiting for the results of the mediator’s talks with Israel, but still sticking to its stand on a swap deal.

Hamas demands the release of 1,400 prisoners detained in Israeli jails in exchange for Shalit, who was captured in a cross-border raid in June of 2006.

At least 6,700 Palestinians are currently being held in 10 prisons and three detention camps in Israel and the West Bank, according to recent Palestinian figures.


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