Israeli TV, Channel 2, reported on Friday evening that Hamas reduced its demands on the number and names of detainees who should be freed in exchange for releasing the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.In its report, Channel 2 stated that Hamas delegates arrived in Cairo for non-direct talks with Israel over the release of Shalit in a prisoner swap deal.
Hamas is negotiating with two senior Egyptian intelligence officers who will transfer the demands to Israel.
The report revealed that Hamas is holding talks with General Omar Qanawi, a senior Egyptian intelligence officer and in charge of the prisoner-swap file between Hamas and Israel.
Also, General Mohammad Ibrahim is involved in the talks and in charge of following-up the developments of the case.
Israeli sources reported that Hamas reduced the number of detainees it demands to be freed in the deal, and that Israel also reduced some of its demands regarding the restrictions on the names of certain detainees.
The Israeli TV also published an interview with the representatives of the Red Cross in Gaza, Eyad Nasser, who said that the captures of Shalit agreed to receive the optical glasses that Shalit's family delivered to the Red Cross.
Also on Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that Shalit and the abducted British journalist will be freed soon.
In an interview with a French TV station on Friday Abbas stated that “both men will be freed soon, and that efforts for their release will bare fruit in the near future”.
Meanwhile, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), Abu Mujahid, has denied the news reports published in the Israeli newspapers and stated that these reports are only speculation.
The PRC is one of three factions believed to be holding Shalit, in addition to the Hamas-affiliated Al-Qassam Brigades and the Army of Islam.