Shalit lawyers see talks with Hamas


Two French lawyers representing Gilad Shalit said they will come to the Gaza Strip to discuss his fate with Hamas.

Emmanuel Altit and Stephane Zerbib told reporters in Paris late Tuesday that they will travel to Gaza this weekend at the invitation of Hamas, which has been holding the Israeli soldier since he was abducted in a June 2006 border raid.

The lawyers, who are representing Shalit because he holds French as well as Israeli citizenship, said they hope their talks with Hamas will bring an end to his captivity.

But Hamas denied planning to discuss Shalit with the lawyers, describing their announcement as “propaganda.”

Hamas has demanded that Israel release 1,400 jailed Palestinians, among them hard-core terrorists, in exchange for Shalit. Israel has ruled out a swap on such a scope, trying through Egyptian mediators to reduce the Palestinian release roster.

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