The head of the Cairo based Centre for Palestinian Studies has said that the Israeli Defence Ministry’s Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs, Amos Gilad, arrived in the city on Wednesday, June 1, to renew talks on the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
Ibrahim Al Darraway told Quds Press that “There is some chance in the bid for the Egyptian efforts to penetrate – in a way accepted by all sides – the issue of the prisoner swap deal.”
“I believe that following the revolution, Cairo has significant ability to broker the prisoner deal between the Israelis and the Resistance given the respect it enjoys from the various sides. Moreover, making the prisoner deal succeed will this time constitute a mutual interest for the various sides. Netanyahu is very worried about the reconciliation agreement, and so the release of Shalit would help justify his acceptance of the reconciliation, while for Abbas, it is not in his interest to object to the deal while he is on the path to reconciliation with Hamas. Additionally, Hamas is interested in the release of Palestinian prisoners and ending their suffering.”
During an earlier visit to Cairo, leading figures from Hamas’ military wing, the Ezz Eldin El Qassam Brigades, including Ahmed El Gaabari, met with the head of the Egyptian intelligence. Sources believed that the visit is indicative of Egypt’s reassertion of its role in brokering a prisoner exchange deal in which it is hoped that captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, could be released in return for the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons.