Hamas denies foiling prisoner exchange talks
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-17 18:08:00   Print

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts         

    GAZA, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Hamas on Tuesday denied that it foiled indirect talks with Israel which aimed at freeing an Israeli soldier for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

    The Egyptian-sponsored talks were about to achieve a breakthrough in securing the release of Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit, who has been held hostage by Hamas since 2006, but the outgoing Israeli premier Ehud Olmert accused Hamas of hardening its demands and conditions in the last minute.

    Olmert's claims "are untrue lies," said Khalil Abu Laila, chief of Hamas' foreign relations. "Hamas' stance did not change since the first moment of capturing the Zionist soldier," he told reporters in Gaza.

    "Through these statements, the Zionist entity tries to gain more time and put more pressure on Hamas in a bid to get concessions from Hamas," Abu Laila added.

    Abu Laila said the indirect negotiations are still going on and that things will be clearer after the Israeli cabinet ends its meeting later on Tuesday.

    Hamas demands Israel to free more than 1,000 prisoners and insists on selecting the names of the first 450 Palestinians that Israel would release in exchange for Shalit. Among the 450 prisoners are some who are jailed for being involved in planning attacks that killed tens of Israelis.

Editor: Yan
Related Stories
Israel-Hamas prisoner swap elusive on Olmert's watch
Hamas accuses Israel of hindering prisoners exchange
Home World
  Back to Top