Abu Zuhri: New Egyptian mediation offer on prisoners’ swap

The Egyptian security delegation residing in the Gaza Strip has tabled a new mediation offer to free the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Sami Abu Zuhri, the Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, revealed on Wednesday but would not divulge details of the offer.

He added that the proposal was tabled a few days ago but it was too early to speak about its details. He affirmed, however, that the three resistance factions that captured the soldier, including Hamas’ armed wing, would not take back any of its demands on release of Palestinian prisoners in return for the freedom of Shalit.

Meanwhile, Reuters news agency quoted a source close to the negotiations as saying that the proposal calls for handing the serviceman to the Egyptian authorities in return for releasing 600 Palestinian detainees including women and children.

The source added that the Israelis would later free another batch of captives including those who spent long periods behind occupation bars.

The Israeli government publicly declares its rejection to the idea of a prisoners’ swap to free Shalit, who was captured almost six weeks ago in a daring resistance raid south of the Strip.