Hamas rejects indirect talks with Israel over prisoner exchange
The Palestinian militant group Hamas has rejected an Israeli proposal to hold indirect marathon talks, to be mediated by Egypt, over a deal for an exchange of prisoners, a Hamas official said Wednesday.
Hamas has rejected a proposal whereby delegations from Israel and the group would conduct indirect negotiations at a hotel in Cairo mediated by Egyptian chief of intelligence, Omar Suleiman, Hamas official Aymen Taha told the pan-Arab daily Asharq-al-Awsat.
Under the Israeli proposal, the marathon negotiations would continue until a deal is reached.
Israel is trying to put Hamas under time pressure and force the group to give up its conditions for a deal, Taha said.
Hamas would thus be blamed if those indirect talks were to fail, the official added.
A deal would be impossible if Israel continued to refuse Hamas' demand for the release of Palestinian prisoners convicted of killing Israeli soldiers and settlers, Taha said.