Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk told a London newspaper internal pressure in Israel and changes in the composition of the Israeli negotiating team will lead to positive movement toward reaching a prisoner exchange deal for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

In an interview with the Al-Hayat newspaper, Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, said that Islamic movement is interested in completing a prisoner exchange agreement but emphasized that Hamas' position on the terms of a deal have not changed.

According to the Al-Hayat report, the head of Hamas' military wing, Ahmed al-Jabari, left Cairo on Monday and returned to the Gaza Strip after a visit during which he met with Abu Marzouk and Egyptian intelligence officials responsible for mediating the Shalit deal.

The report included no details about a breakthrough or progress toward a deal. The paper also reported that mediators in Egypt had asked Hamas to clarify their final position on the terms of a deal.

Gazans say Israelis cut telecom cable

Also yesterday, the Gaza Strip's land and cellular communications networks were disrupted for more than 15 hours beginning late Tuesday, in what Palestinians said was the result of damage caused by Israeli armored vehicles.

The Palestinian Communications Group said the Israeli vehicles had cut the cable which provides the Strip with land and cellular communications.