Hamas, Israel Prisoner Swap Talks to Resume

Talks on a prisoner swap for hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier will resume after Eid al-Adha, Palestinian officials say.

Hamas deputy chief Mussa Abu Marzuk said on Thursday that there had been progress between Hamas and Israel’s delegations in Cairo, but that talks were snagged over a group of prisoners that Israel refused to free.

Hamas is demanding the freedom for hundreds of prisoners, including about 450 Palestinians serving life sentences or long prison terms in Israeli jails in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was captured in Gaza in 2006.

The talks on prisoner swap will resume after Eid al-Adha on Tuesday, a Palestinian official, on condition of anonymity, told AFP on Thursday.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that Tel Aviv wished to strike a deal with Hamas "but not at any price."

Hamas blames Israel for the delay in the prisoner swap. Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Haya said on Wednesday that Israelis have not yet answered the "demands of the Palestinians".

(Press TV)

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