Home / International / International -- World Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Hamas Draws up Soldier Swap List
Adjust font size:

Hamas has handed over the names of Palestinian prisoners it demands Israel release in exchange for an Israeli soldier seized by Gaza gunmen 10 months ago, the Islamist group said Sunday.

"These names have been presented to the Egyptian (mediators), who in turn have presented it to the Israeli side," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. "There is a clear progress in the fact a list of names has been presented."

But an Israeli cabinet minister and a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah faction cautioned against assuming a deal was imminent.

Barhoum gave no numbers or names. Israeli media reports said the roster listed about 1,300 prisoners, including Marwan Barghouthi, a Fatah leader widely seen as a possible successor to the moderate Abbas.

Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit was seized last June by militants from Hamas and two other armed groups who tunnelled into Israel from Gaza.

An exchange deal, after months of deadlock, could be key to any progress in talks Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas have agreed to hold on a biweekly basis at the urging of the United States.

For Palestinians, freedom for brethren in Israeli jails - especially long-serving prisoners - is a highly emotive issue. Olmert has accused Abbas of failing to deliver on promises to secure Shalit's release.

Sources in Olmert's office said Israel had received the list and a ministerial committee would meet in the coming days to decide on whether to loosen criteria for releasing prisoners in an exchange deal, a change the cabinet would have to approve.

Israel has balked in the past at trading Palestinian prisoners categorized as "having blood on their hands" - a reference to attacks in which Israelis have been killed.

"Certain progress has been made compared with how things were until now," Israeli cabinet minister Isaac Herzog told Israeli Army Radio.

"There is still a long way to go. We are apparently approaching the truly difficult stage of the negotiations," Herzog said.

(China Daily via agencies April 9, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Abbas, Haneya Agree on Plan to Free BBC Reporter
Ban: Time Not Ripe to Meet Hamas
Hamas Breaks Ceasefire with Israel
Olmert Guarded on Palestinian Unity Pact
A Return to Quartet Roadmap amid Dead Ends
Israel Releases US$100 Mln to Abbas
Israel Said to Approve Weapons Shipment for Abbas
9 Killed as Israeli Air-ground Military Actions in Gaza
Haneya Reiterates Hamas Rejection to Arab Peace Initiative
Israel Frees Detained Palestinian Deputy PM
Hamas-led Gov't Not to Recognize Israel
Israel Kills 5 in Gaza; Hamas Welcomes Quartet Move
Hamas Denounces Israel for Rejecting Ceasefire Offer
Israeli Strike Clouds Leaders' Meeting
> Korean Nuclear Talks
> Middle East Peace Process
> Iran Nuclear Issue
> Reconstruction of Iraq
> 6th SCO Summit Meeting
- China Development Gateway
- Foreign Ministry
- Network of East Asian Think-Tanks
- China-EU Association
- China-Africa Business Council
- China Foreign Affairs University
- University of International Relations
- Institute of World Economics & Politics
- Institute of Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies
- Institute of West Asian & African Studies
- Institute of Latin American Studies
- Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
- Institute of Japanese Studies
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号