Report: Hamas Military Leader in Egypt for Shalit Talks

Egypt may return to serve as mediator in talks between Israel and Hamas, Al-Hayat reports; parents of kidnapped IDF soldier meet new Israeli negotiator for their son's release.

Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabri is in Egypt for talks with current Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate Murad Muwafi about abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, London-based Arab daily Al-Hayat reported on Saturday.

According to the report, Jabri has been in Egypt for several days, during which he held talks with Muwafi about the stalled negotiations between Israel and the Hamas for Shalit's release.

Gilad Shalit cardboard figures
Tess Scheflan

Shalit was captured by Gaza-based militants in 2006, during a cross-border raid. Red Cross officials have been denied permission to see the soldier.

Hamas has been insistent in its demand that some 1,400 prisoners be released from Israeli jails in return for handing over the Shalit. Israel has balked at a number of the names on Hamas' list - which includes some responsible for deadly terror attacks in Israel - agreeing to free around 980 prisoners.

Negotiations have stalled numerous times. Hamas last year accused Israel of changing its stance over points to which it had already agreed. Hamas sources have said that Israel is delaying the completion of the Shalit deal by refusing to release 50 Hamas officials it holds in its jails.

Speaking to Israel Radio, a top Hamas official refused to comment on the report.

Earlier this week, Noam and Aviva Shalit met with Netanyahu's new negotiator for their son's release, David Meidan.

Speaking after the meeting, Noam Shalit said that he would not "confirm or deny" any details of the proceedings. "I do not report on meetings that we have with authority officials in this matter."

David Meidan, a Mossad official, took over from predecessor Hagai Adas last week.