An Egyptian journalist and expert on Palestinian affairs has confirmed that the prisoner exchange deal between the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and the Israeli side is going through an extremely delicate phase. He pointed out that a Hamas delegation started a meeting in Damascus on Tuesday with the leadership of the movement's political bureau to discuss the exchange of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. The delegation is expected to leave Damascus for Cairo this tomorrow, Thursday 31st with the movement's final reply to the Israeli offer.
The Egyptian expert, Ibrahim Al-Darawi, told Quds Press that the Israeli side is hindering the completion of the deal by refusing to release nine prisoners whom the capturers of Shalit insist must be included on the exchange list.
The nine prisoners whom Israel refuses to release as part of the deal are: Marwan Barghouthi, Ahmad Saadat, Ibrahim Hamid, Hassan Salama, Abdullah Barghouthi, Abbas al-Sij, Jamal Abu Al-Haija, Abdunnasir Issa, in addition to the Jerusalemite female prisoners. The German mediator is expected to arrive in Gaza shortly to receive Hamas' response, which will then be delivered to the Israeli side.
Source: Quds Press