Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hamas Leader: No Talks on Shalit


"26/07/2008 Despite recent reports that Israel and Hamas are engaged in talks on the release of captured Israeli occupation soldier Gilad Shalit, senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Zahar says the negotiations are on hold.

"At this time there are no negotiations on a Shalit deal," al-Zahar said in an interview published by the Nazareth-based Kul al-Arab newspaper.

The Hamas leader said his organization did not hand over to Israel a list containing the names of detainees it wishes to secure as part of the deal. Hamas conveyed its demands orally, via Egypt, Al-Zahar said

"Everything you're hearing from the media, regardless of whatever they are Arab, Palestinian, or Israel is not true and is merely an attempt to test the waters," he said. "This issue is now facing new conditions and all the talk about it is false."

Al-Zahar also denied that Israel sought to hold direct negotiation with Hamas and was rejected. "There are no direct negotiations and there won't be any," he said.

Turning his attention to “Operation Al-Redwan” between Israel and Hezbollah, al-Zahar said: "We are happy about every detainee who is released, yet Hezbollah’s conditions are better than ours. They have support, strategic depth, and other means."

Al-Zahar slammed Israel for its failure to meet the Gaza Strip truce conditions. "Israel is clearly not adhering to the terms of the lull agreement," he said. "The electricity supply is disrupted and we suffer from diesel fuel and electricity shortages…we are facing an ongoing Israeli siege.""

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