The family of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit on Sunday dismissed as propaganda Hamas' accusations that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to blame for stalled negotiations over their son's release.
"Hamas and its leaders continue to behave cynically towards their people and they have still not given an answer to the Israeli proposal passed on to the German negotiator three months ago," the family said.
Abdullah Barghouti, a former leader of Hamas' military wing, earlier Sunday said Netanyahu was trying to sabotage the prisoner exchange to free Shalit.
"The Shalit deal will not be executed because Netanyahu doesn't want a deal," said Abdullah, who has been mentioned as one of the senior Hamas officials jailed in Israel that may be released as part of the swap.
Barghouti went on to address the Shalit family and said, "I am telling his family that his condition is good. He has food, he has a room and we are not mistreating our prisoner."
In response to Barghouti's remarks, the Shalit family said: "We are sorry that a Hamas prisoner gets the right to speak to the media when Gilad can't even see the light of day and has no connection to the outside world."
The family also said that Israel's blockade of Gaza, which it said was created by Hamas, hurt only the residents of the coastal territory who had nothing to do with their son or the prisoner swap.
"We are sorry that a Hamas prisoner gets the right to speak to the media when Gilad can't even see the light of day and has no connection to the outside world," the family added.
Barghouti is serving 67 life sentences after being convicted in 2003 of planning terror attacks in which 66 Israelis were murdered and hundreds hurt, including the attack on a Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem.
He made his comments at a hearing to discuss extending his solitary confinement.
"Netanyahu is busy with many things," said Barghouti. "He is busy with kadima and other things apart from the deal. Netanyahu is delaying the swap. Hamas and the German mediator already signed, but Netanyahu is deliberating and backtracking."
Barghouti said Hamas has not received new proposals for the prisoner exchange. "Every day I ask god for there to be a deal, but Netanyahu doesn't want it," he said. "Noam Shalit knows this but is afraid to say it."
Barghouti went on to say that Israel needs to talk to Hamas leaders, but that he will continue to fight as long as the occupation continues. "As long as my land is occupied, I will fight," he said, adding "my land is all of Palestine.
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