• July 3, 2010

Hamas: Netanyahu wants to relieve Shalit-related pressure on him

Hamas: Netanyahu wants to relieve Shalit-related pressure on him

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum denied that his Movement received a new proposal on the swap deal and described Netanyahu’s declared intention to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners as aimed at pleasing the Israeli public opinion.

“Hamas has no objection to the resumption of swap deal talks where they left off, but it will never give up any of its previous conditions,” spokesman Barhoum emphasized.

The spokesman, however, expressed his Movement’s rejection of Netanyahu’s talk about releasing a list of prisoners on condition that they should not stay in their homes in the West Bank.

Earlier, another senior Hamas official, Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, told the PIC that his Movement had no information about new offers concerning the swap deal, but it would consider any serious proposals that could lead to the resumption of indirect talks in this regard.

Netanyahu on Thursday said in a televised speech addressed to the Israeli public that he was ready to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners from his jails and described his new offer as the price he was willing to pay for the release of soldier Gilad Shalit.

“The state of Israel is willing to pay a heavy price for the release of Gilad Shalit but we are not able to say it will be any price,” he added.

Netanyahu made his announcement on Shalit to reduce mounting pressure from the Israeli public demanding his government to get Shalit released.

On Friday, thousands of Israelis participated for the sixth consecutive day in a massive protest to pressure the government to bring Shalit home at any price. About 10,000 Israelis reportedly marched towards Netanya city to attend a gathering in protest of the government’s inactive attitude towards the deal.