Hamas neither to confirm nor deny new conditions on Shalit's release
The Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, on Wednesday refused to confirm or deny Israeli reports that the its movement added new conditions to exchange an Israeli soldier Shalit for Palestinian prisoners, Xinhua reported.
"We prefer not to speak in the prisoners' issue in order to make any swap successful," Salah al-Bardaweel, a Hamas official, told Xinhua.
According to the sources, Hamas' new conditions sought operating a commercial seaport between the Gaza Strip and the place without any Israeli or international monitoring.
Hamas has also asked for guarantees that Israel would not carry out any military operation in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip after the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is freed.
Al-Bardaweel referred to the reports as "trial balloons, away from the reality," adding that the issue was still "obscure."
German mediators have joined Egyptian diplomats, trying to bridge gaps between Hamas and Israel over the release of the prisoners.
Hamas captured Shalit in a cross-border raid near the Gaza Strip in June 2006 and since then, demands to free him in exchange for more than 1,000 Arab and Palestinian prisoners, including 450 who are serving long and life sentences in Israeli prisons.
Following the capturing of Shalit and Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza, Israel and Egypt maintained the closure of their borders with Gaza, excepting urgent humanitarian cases and vital food and medicine.