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Egypt, Turkey sponsor talks between Hamas, Israel

Israel Materials 21 May 2011 00:04
Egypt and Turkey sponsored indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel on exchanging prisoners, Palestinian sources revealed Friday.
Egypt, Turkey sponsor talks between Hamas, Israel

Egypt and Turkey sponsored indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel on exchanging prisoners, Palestinian sources revealed Friday.

The contacts are being held secretly, the sources told Xinhua, revealing that Egypt officially sponsor the talks but refused to identify the level of the Turkish involvement.

The negotiations are still in their early phase and it is " still too early to talk about a breakthrough," the sources said.

Hamas wants Israel to free at least 1,000 Arab and Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, a Israeli soldier captured in a cross-border raid by Palestinian militants near the Gaza Strip in 2006.

The talks focus on reviving offers of the two sides several months ago, when Egypt and Germany led the mediation, the sources said.

Hamas insisted to select at least 400 prisoners for Israel to release, but the Jewish state refused, saying that those 400 include activists involved in killing Israelis. This thorny issue caused the negotiations to break down several times.

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