JERUSALEM (JTA) – Hamas says it will continue negotiations on a prisoner swap that would bring home Gilad Shalit, according to reports.
Exiled Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk told the BBC on Sunday, however, that Hamas will not make more concessions in the talks.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh wrote in a Hamas newspaper Sunday that the group’s representatives are still trying to renew the Egyptian-sponsored talks, Ha’aretz reported.
Meanwhile, the London-based daily Al Hayat newspaper reported Sunday that the talks would resume in the coming days. Al-Hayat reported that Israel agreed to release all but five of the 450 Palestinian prisoners on Hamas’ list in exchange for Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was captured in a cross-border raid in 2005. One of the five prisoners was convicted of planning the 2001 assassination of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi.
Israel also is continuing to work to complete a prisoner exchange, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Ha’aretz Sunday. Olmert is due to leave office in the next two weeks.
On Saturday night, Shalit’s parents, Noam and Aviva, marked their son’s 1,000th day in captivity and ended their two-week protest from a tent pitched outside the prime minister’s Jerusalem office.
"It is not over, my dear Gilad," Noam Shalit said during an address to supporters.