Monday, August 31, 2009

Hamas Refusing to Budge on Terms for Shalit Deal


"31/08/2009 Hamas has rejected every Israeli request to exile some of the Palestinian detainees due to be released as part of a deal for captured Israeli occupation soldier Gilad Shalit, a senior official in the Islamic resistance group said Sunday.

Osama al-Mzainy, the Hamas official in charge of the Shalit affair, also insisted that no quick agreement over the captured soldier is in sight.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, al-Mzainy said every prisoner should be allowed to return home. "All the statements about optimism and expectations - that the deal will soon be sealed - all these statements are exaggerated," he told the television station. "We still need some time in order to overcome the obstacles put up by the Israelis."

He said Israel's demand that some of the released detainees be deported is what caused the talks to fail when Ehud Olmert was prime minister, and if Israel continued to insist on this point, the current negotiations would fail as well.

Hamas, he added, has not backed down on any of its demands, including the release of 1,000 detainees in total. "They will be released in two stages. The first group will comprise 450 prisoners, whose names will be determined by Hamas ... In the second stage, 550 prisoners will be released. Hamas is attached to this plan. We will not accept any deal unless this request is accepted," al-Mzainy told Al Jazeera......."

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