Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister delays cabinet meeting on prisoner exchange with Hamas
Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert postponed a cabinet meeting on a prisoner exchange with Hamas until Tuesday because of continuing negotiations in Cairo, reported dpa.
"It should be emphasized that as of yet, there is no sign that indicates a result in any particular direction in the negotiations," a statement from Olmert said Monday, the day the meeting was scheduled.
The prime minister is seeking to obtain the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit before he leaves office this week.
Israeli envoys - domestic security head Yuval Diskin and diplomat Ofer Dekel - were to continue their talks with Egyptian mediators longer than planned, Israel Radio reported.
Shalit was captured in June 2006 by members of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Shalit's parents erected a protest tent a week ago in front of Olmert's house to press for their son's release.
Hamas demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in return for Shalit.
A sticking point has been Israel's demand that a few dozen Palestinian prisoners who took part in the planning or execution of attacks not be allowed to return to Palestinian territory but go abroad.