Khaled Meshal, the head of Hamas's political bureau, is due to arrive
to Cairo Saturday to continue discussing the Egyptian proposal relating
to the release of captured Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit and the
formation of a coalition government between Fatah and Hamas.


The visit is thought to signify Meshal’s willingness to accept the terms of the deal, if actually carried out, according to sources participating in the talks.

The Egyptian proposal, presented over a week ago, addresses Shalit’s release in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, who would be released in stages and aims to establish a coalition government between Fatah and Hamas.

Although senior Israeli and Hamas officials are skeptical of Meshal’s visit, Israeli sources said, "Israel can live with such a deal."

If everything goes as planned, representatives from Fatah, Hamas, Syria and Spain will meet in Damascus to further discuss the formation of a unity government, according to senior Palestinian sources.

The European Union's foreign policy coordinator, Javier Solana, has also expressed his willingness to help in forming the unity government. Solana met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Thursday night, the wife of Kadura Fares, a head of one of Fatah's Tanzim militias, and with Fadwa, the wife of Marwan Barghouti.

On Thursday, after meetings with Vice Premier Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense MInister Amir Peretz, Solana insisted that Israel evacuate all illegal settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank and conduct its part to advance the Road Map Plan for peace despite the crisis in the Palestinian government.

Sourced from Haaretz