No details before prisoner swap deal set: Hamas

Other News Materials 11 July 2008 01:35 (UTC +04:00)

Mussa Abu Marzouq, deputy of the Damascus-based political wing of the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas, said Thursday that he will not announce the details of a proposed prisoner swap with Israel, dpa reported.

Before heading to Damascus after a three-day visit in Cairo Abu Marzouq told the official Middle East News Agency (MENA) that out of respect to the feelings of the prisoners and their families Hamas will not talk about the prisoner swap until a deal is reached.

A Hamas delegate, headed by Abu Marzouq, joined another delegate from Gaza in Cairo to discuss with Egyptian officials the prisoner swap deal with Israel and the reopening of the Rafah crossing.

"The Hamas delegation discussed with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman Israel's violations of the truce like not allowing commodities to pass into the Strip and the repeated closing of the crossings," he was quoted by MENA as saying.

He said that there is improvement in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip after the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel took effect on June 19. However, he said, the group hoped Israel would commit to the truce.

Israel closed the crossing points five times since the ceasefire took effect in response to rocket attacks by some Palestinian militants.

Abu Marzouq described the rocket attacks as an 'individual attack' as the ceasefire was accepted by all factions. He added that their duty now is to strengthen the fragile truce in order to take the next step.