Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

middle east - do not use

'Unclear' if Israel can reach prisoner swap deal with Hamas, Netanyahu says

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-27

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel had not yet reached a deal over a prisoner swap with Hamas and it remained unclear whether it would be able to do so.

AFP - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said it was not clear whether Israel would strike a prisoner swap deal with Hamas that would see hundreds of Palestinians freed for a captured soldier.

"At the moment there is no deal and it is not at all clear to me if there will be one," a senior official quoted Netanyahu as telling ministers from his rightwing Likud party ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting.

"If we get a real proposal, I will bring it before the government, but we are not there yet and I don't know if we will get there," Netanyahu said, according to the official who was present at the gathering.

Netanyahu also said he would go to Egypt to meet President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday. Cairo had been mediating the talks for months without success before the entry of a German mediator earlier this year raised hopes of a deal.

Israel and Hamas have been struggling to reach a deal to trade hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Gaza militants in a deadly cross-border raid in June 2006.

Both sides have been tight-lipped about the discussions, but the Islamist group ruling Gaza has reported demanded some 1,000 prisoners, including several top militants convicted of killing scores of Israelis in major attacks.

The meeting between Netanyahu and Mubarak would follow a trip to Israel by Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and after Israel last week gave a German mediator its latest proposal over the swap.

Netanyahu said that the killing of a Jewish settler in a West Bank attack last week underscored fears that a prisoner release could lead to a new wave of violence.

The Israeli army on Saturday killed three Palestinians in the city of Nablus which it said carried out the deadly attack, including one who was released from Israeli prison several years ago.

"The fear that terrorists could return to terror activity is a key consideration in the negotiations on Gilad Shalit. The security of our citizens, especially those in Judaea and Samaria (West Bank) is cardinal," Netanyahu said.

"We will not agree to expose our citizens to terrorism," he said.

Israel last week passed its latest proposal to the German mediator in the indirect talks and Hamas said it was studying the offer.

Shalit has become a cause celebre in Israel, where many believe the government has a sacred obligation to bring back its soldiers and where thousands of prisoners have been released in similar previous deals.

But there are also those who are opposed to the deal, which would be portrayed as a major victory for the militant Hamas and could undermine support for its rival, the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
 

Date created : 2009-12-27

  • MIDEAST

    Divided Israeli cabinet makes offer on Shalit release

    Read more

  • GILAD SHALIT

    No deal yet on prisoner swap, says Abbas

    Read more

  • ISRAEL

    Some 980 Palestinian prisoners could be released in Shalit deal

    Read more

COMMENT(S)