30/07/2010 14:13



Netanyahu claimed that until now Hamas has not responded to the German mediator's proposal to release 450 prisoners and another 500 ones as a goodwill gesture to Egypt and to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas insists on its conditions that all the prisoners with life sentences must be released.

Shalit was abducted on June 25, 2006, when Hamas and two militant groups carried out a distinctive attack on an Israeli army base near the border between southeast Gaza Strip and Israel. Two Israeli army officers were killed, as well as six militants, where Shalit was taken from inside his tank.

Israel officially applied to Egypt to mediate talks with Hamas to free Shalit, but the talks were obstructed several times, until Germany decided to officially join the mediation. However, Germany 's intervention didn't end up with an agreement to release 1,000 prisoners as Hamas wanted for freeing Shalit.

Mekhemer Abu Se'da, the political science professor at the Gaza- based al-Azhar University told Xinhua that Israel still believes that the price, which Hamas has demanded "is very expensive for freeing Shalit, adding that Israel still reluctant "to pay this high price for getting Shalit alive to his family."

"There are other reasons that obstruct finalizing the deal ... Hamas' success in finalizing the deal would boost its position, the thing which many countries in the world don't want," said Abu Se'da.

He also referred to the standstill talks to achieve a reconciliation treaty between Hamas and its bitter rival Fatah party of President Abbas, adding that "this issue also obstructs finalizing a prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel. I believe that issue of reconciliation and the issue of Shalit are linked."

Israel and Hamas has been trading accusations that each side is creating excuses to obstruct the talks in order to reach a deal.