Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

‘Prisoners released for Schalit won’t return to Gaza, W. Bank’

Posted by Andrea Pompozzi su 14 febbraio, 2009

Feb. 14, 2009
JPost.com Staff and AP , THE JERUSALEM POST

Officials in Jerusalem said Saturday that all Palestinian terrorists that would be released in a future deal to release captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit would not be allowed to return to either the Gaza Strip or the West Bank.

Meanwhile, Israel Radio reported that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will convene the diplomatic-security cabinet, comprised of the prime minister, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, to a discussion on Saturday evening regarding the progress in talks to release Schalit and the cease-fire with Hamas.

Hamas official Ahmed Yussouf told the Saudi Okaz paper that his organization will announce a cease-fire on Monday. He added that the group is demanding the release of 1,400 prisoners in exchange for Schalit.

Egyptian sources told the London-based Al Hayat that Schalit will be released before Olmert steps down. The sources said the cease-fire was dependent on Schalit being released and added that Israel would have no choice but to agree to release all the prisoners that Hamas demands be released.

All of Israel’s efforts to use other mediators apart from Egypt in the Schalit case, the sources said, bore no fruit.

Also on Satudray, Hamas leader in Syria Khaled Mashaal denied reports claiming he said there has been a setback in the truce talks. Mashaal was speaking to the Al Jazeera TV network.

On Friday Mashaal was reported to say that there’s been a setback in the talks as members of the group were to meet with Egyptian officials to continue negotiations.

When asked by reporters during a visit to Doha, Qatar, about the cease-fire, Mashaal reportedly said, “It (the truce) was supposed to start on Sunday, but there has been a setback, and it will not start as it was expected.”

When asked about Mashaal’s comments Friday, Ali Baraka, deputy head of Hamas’s Damascus office said discussions are still continuing.

Egypt has been trying to negotiate a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas – staunch enemies who refuse to talk directly – to replace the informal cease-fire that ended Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip.

There was no immediate comment from Israel on Mashaal’s remarks.

Baraka said the two sides – Marzouk and Egypt’s top mediator, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman – were meeting Friday night. He said Hamas was to be informed about the Israeli response to an earlier request for clarification over goods Israel wants to prevent from reaching Gaza until Schalit is released.

Israel in past negotiations has tried to restrict what type of goods enter Gaza, specifically goods it says could be used to make weapons.

Some of the key sticking points in the talks have been opening Gaza’s borders, preventing weapons smuggling into Gaza and stopping Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel.

Egyptian state-run newspapers Friday quoted Egypt’s top mediator, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, as saying that four obstacles remained to be resolved; “firing rockets, establishing a buffer zone between Gaza and Israel, a Hamas commitment to respect calm and a halt to weapons smuggling” into the Gaza Strip.

Israeli defense officials said the talks were serious and making progress. An initial agreement could involve a partial opening of Gaza’s crossings, they said, with a later agreement to include Schalit’s release, in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners demanded by Hamas.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the details remain classified.

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.




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