Barak: No truth to Shalit release reports


JERUSALEM (JTA) — There is no truth to recent reports that a deal over kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is imminent, Ehud Barak said.

"The reports on the release of Shalit are incorrect and even damaging," the Israeli defense minister said during Sunday’s Cabinet meeting.

European diplomats and Arab officials have been saying since last week that Shalit was set to be moved to Egypt as part of a prisoner swap with Hamas that would also involve the lifting of the Gaza blockade.

Also Sunday, the Hamas official in charge of negotiations over Shalit said the recent reports had no basis in fact.

Shalit was captured by Hamas in a cross-border raid on June 25, 2006.  

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