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Hamas said it delivered a letter to captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from his family.

The letter to Shalit, which was sent via French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is the first Hamas said it allowed through to Shalit, though Shalit has sent several messages since he was captured on the Gaza-Israel border in a 2006 raid.

The letter went from Shalit’s father, Noam, to Sarkozy, who gave it to Qatari officials, who passed it on to Syrian officials, who gave it to Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Damascus. Shalit also holds French citizenship.

Negotiations facilitated by Egyptian mediators have failed to yield an agreement between Hamas and Israel over the number of Palestinian prisoners Israel would exchange in return for Shalit’s liberation.

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