Shalit negotiator remains in Cairo; deal near?


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s chief negotiator for the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit stayed an extra day in Cairo as a deal appears close, according to Israeli reports.

The talks between Ofer Dekel and Egyptian mediators have focused on a prisoner swap, Ynet reported Wednesday, and specifically the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners demanded by Hamas. Some of the prisoners were directly involved in terror attacks on Israelis.

Ynet said Israeli government officials refused to comment.

Shalit’s father, Noam, on Thursday called on Hamas to agree to the prisoner exchange before a new government takes office, saying the deal was the best it would get.

Gilad Shalit was abducted in July 2006 in a cross-border raid. 

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