Netanayahu on Shalit Deal: No More Flexibility


netanyahuPrime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has indicated to Hamas that he will show no more flexibility in negotiations to free Gilad Schalit, sources close to Netanyahu were quoted last night.

Netanyahu reportedly stressed that his point man in talks to free the captured soldier, Hagai Hadas, would be given no more wiggle room beyond the mandate he has received.

“The prime minister insists that dangerous terrorists, as well as those who committed murder by their own hands, will not be released to locations from which they will endanger the lives of Israeli citizens,” the officials said.

Negotiations between Israel and Hamas are still ongoing. On Tuesday the German mediator working on the prisoner exchange deal was in the Gaza Strip to hear the Islamist group’s response to Israel’s latest proposal.

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar met with the mediator to update him on the results of recent consultations with the group’s top leadership in Damascus.

Speaking about the deal with London-based Al-Hayat on Tuesday, Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau, said that the latest Israeli offer had included a “withdrawal from previous stances” which the group found problematic.

“Every time we get close to an agreement, the Israelis back out at the last minute,” he complained. “We’re sticking to our demands out of national common sense. We’re determined to come to a reasonable prisoner swap which will bring about the release of our imprisoned heroes.

“We won’t give up on these demands, that’s our commitment to [the prisoners],” he vowed.

{JPost/Yair Israel}