Report: New European Mediator Involved in Shalit Negotiations

Hamas sources tell Egyptian daily that a new official will be replacing the German mediator Gerhard Conrad, following Hamas' recent disappointment with Conrad for taking Netanyahu's position.

A new European mediator will try to advance a deal for the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Hamas sources told the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram Tuesday.

According to the report, the new mediator, whose identity is so far unknown, will be replacing the German mediator Gerhard Conrad.

Shimon Peres and Shalit
Tomer Appelbaum

The deputy head of Hamas' political bureau Moussa Abu Marzuk also commented on the new appointment in an interview with Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV on Tuesday, saying that mediators are working on a prisoners exchange deal with Israel. He refused to go into details, but claimed there are new mediators.

Abu Marzuk has recently said that the German mediator has completely failed to advance negotiations regarding the release of Gilad Shalit, saying that Conrad did not succeed in changing the stance of Prime Minsiter Benjamin Netanyahu, choosing to side with his position instead.

Marzuk also said that the German mediator will not return to negotiations following his failed efforts, however Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, told Haaretz that as far as he knows the German mediator still remains in the picture.