Substantial efforts to secure the release of the Israeli soldier are
underway, said the Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh Sunday. The soldier, 19-year old Gilad Shalit, was captured while invading the southern Gaza Strip
earlier this summer and has been in the news ever since.

The Palestinian resistance members who captured him maintained from the beginning that they want to make an exchange for women, children, and long-serving political prisoners in Israeli jails.

After Prime Minister Ismail Haniya met with an Egyptian security delegation in Gaza City yesterday evening he hinted that work has not ceased to solve the issue, but was unable to give a definitive answer as a solution is still in the process.

Rafat Shehadeh led the Egyptian delegation including Mohammad Ibrahim and Ahmed Abdel Khalek that met in the Prime Minister’s office.

Following the meeting Prime Minister Haniya told reporters that meetings “of consultation to better serve the Palestinian people, solving the just cause, and working to deepen the strategic relations between Palestine and Egypt” are ongoing. Egypt has take over the negotiation efforts for a prisoner exchange.

The Prime Minister continued, “I believe that there are procedures and measures being taken concerning the major issue of the Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit. But I cannot say for certain as the Egyptians may or may not know something new on the subject.”

Prime Minister Haniya moved on to tell reporters last night that the national unity government’s political program is based on the National Accord Document which does not require recognizing the occupation as legitimate in any form.

He said, “The program of the national unity government still needs numerous consultations. There is a group of things that we want to begin to resolve constitutional procedures. The government's political program will be based on the National Accord Document and this document does not recognize the existence of occupation.”