Israel Hampering Prisoner Swap, Egypt Says

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit says Israel is stalling on a prisoner swap with Hamas by refusing to free certain Palestinian prisoners.

"Israel is still placing obstacles toward releasing all those demanded by the Palestinians," AFP quoted Gheit as saying on Sunday.

"We hope that the Israeli side, which decided to move on this exchange, will go through with it and not put in place further obstacles," Egypt’s top diplomat said according to a statement released by the foreign ministry.

Israel and Hamas have held indirect talks sponsored by Egypt and mediated by Germany to finalize a prisoner swap deal, which aims at the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Shalit was captured in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip three years ago.

Israeli Member of Knesset (Parliament) Daniel Ben Simon said on Saturday that prisoner swap deal could go ahead in the next "week or two."

(Press TV)

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