Saturday, March 24, 2007
"......When asked by the journalists why he did not make the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit a condition for the formation of the unity government, Abbas he said that he did, but Hamas did not agree to this demand.
Then he asked "is Shalit more important for you than anything? We have thousands of prisoners in the Israeli jails and there is only one Israeli prisoner in Palestinian hands." The journalists answered "yes he is so important, this is a sensitive issue for us."
Abbas then said, "I know that and that is why we are making efforts to release him, me and Khalid Mash'al are working with the Egyptians. I have told Hamas that if they release him it is possible that many of their leaders will be released." Abbas also said that he knows that Shalit is safe and that he hopes he will be released; but not to his home. "He will be handed to the Egyptians," Abbas confirmed......"