Report: Israel-Hamas Talks on Shalit Deal Delayed Indefinitely

Egyptian official tells Al Hayat that each side insists on the best possible outcome for itself, and stresses that Israel and Hamas must make concessions.

A senior Egyptian official said Thursday that the third round of Israel-Hamas indirect talks over the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit have ceased with no results and without setting a date for renewing the negotiations.

This comes, according to the source, as a result of both sides' insistence on their respective positions.

Meshal Shalit Netanyahu Salman AP
Emil Salman and AP

The official told the London-based Arab daily Al-Hayat that Egypt will try to find new solutions in the near future that would facilitate the completion of a deal on Shalit. The official also said that Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, who came to Cairo for the negotiations, did not go into details of the talks and just discussed the main principles.

"Each of the sides tried to achieve the best possible outcome for itself since each party needs to answer to its public and its demands," the Egyptian official said, stressing that "each side must make concessions."

On Wednesday, Al-Hayat quoted Palestinians sources as saying that Hamas does not intend to give up on its demand to release Palestinians imprisoned in Israel who are considered political leaders .

Moreover, a senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said Tuesday that Israel has shown significant flexibility in its stance regarding a prisoner exchange deal on captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

"Israel's extreme position regarding the deal has become significantly more flexible in light of Hamas' resoluteness regarding its position and demands," Hamdan told the newspaper "Palestine", which is identified with the Hamas organization.