Hamas denies new European proposal in Shalit deal

[ 19/06/2011 – 05:18 PM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– Hamas has denied receiving any new proposal in a Shalit deal by European officials.

 “Hamas has not received any new official proposal relating to the prisoner deal,” said senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil, confirming that Hamas was willing to agree to a deal as long as its conditions are met.

Israeli Channel Two said Saturday evening that Germany and France boosted calls for a move forward in a prisoner deal involving Gilad Shalit, who Gaza resistance forces managed to capture on Palestinian occupied land exactly five years back. When urging Hamas in a joint statement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said their countries offered to ease recognition of Hamas’s legitimacy in return for ending the Shalit issue.

The perks alleged to have been offered to Hamas also include understandings on the border crossings shared by Israel and the Gaza Strip and an increase in foreign investments and easing the Israeli economic blockade enforced against Gaza.

Former Israeli colonel Samuel Gordon has called on his government to begin direct talks with Hamas on the matter.

He considered Israel’s refusal to deal directly with Hamas instead of using foreign mediation a major obstacle to a would-be deal.

In an attempt to justify not going straight to Hamas, Israel has said that Hamas is its nemesis and that the group has continued to fire missiles across borders.

In a statement he made to the Israeli news outlet Haaretz, Gordon said that Israel can no longer avoid going into talks with Hamas, calling the party a “live and existing movement”. He said that Israel should move to talks with Hamas if it wants to come to an agreement with the Palestinians and see the release of Shalit.


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