Sources: Progress on Shalit is Real, But Not All Reports Accurate


gilad-shalit-smallWhile Israeli media reports on negotiations for the release of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit are limited by almost draconian military censorship, media outlets around the world have been reporting progress in the talks.

A Palestinian daily reported yesterday that Israel had agreed to a deal in principle, and the American television network Fox reported that Hamas is expected to deliver an alternative list of 70 prisoners to replace the 70 convicted mass murderers – out of a total of 450 serious offenders whose release Hamas had demanded – that Israel has refused to free as part of a deal. Nonetheless, only some of the details reported in the foreign media are accurate.

According to the daily, Al-Manar, the German mediator involved in the negotiations recently spent a week in Israel and met with both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Hagai Hadas, Israel’s chief negotiator on the issue. The paper also said the prime minister has agreed to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

Meanwhile, the indirect talks are continuing, with the participation of Hadas, the German mediator, Egyptian intelligence officers and Hamas.

Industry and Trade Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told the daily Maariv that he “hopes the matter is approaching an end. There is an agreement on a certain formula. In three months, I hope, we will see Gilad back home.”

{Haaretz/Yair Israel}