Ismail Radwan, spokesperson of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas,
stated on Sunday that a prisoner swap deal between Palestinian factions
and Israel will be reached soon.

Radwan added that no one can predict final dates and results of such a deal.

In a TV interview with the Ramattan News Agency, Radwan stated that preparations for a prisoner-swap deal are been made, and that the deal includes releasing women and children.

He also said that Hamas hopes that a total of 1500 detainees will be freed in this deal.

Radwan also said that Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, will visit Saudi Arabia after finishing his pilgrimage in Mecca.

Haniyya intends to meet with senior Saudi officials there, and might later on visit Jordan if the needed arrangements were carried out.

Haniyya is also expected in Kuwait on January 6 2007, where he will hold meetings with Kuwaiti officials in an attempt to recruit financial support to the Hamas-led Palestinian government.

A possible meeting between Haniyya and the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, is expected to take place in Jordan in an attempt to bring about a national agreement that would see the creation of a Palestinian National Unity government.

He stated that he believes that everything will be ready to start serious talks among the Palestinian factions, “talks that are based on Palestinian, not American, agenda”, according to Haniyya.

“We have to do everything possible to serve the Palestinian national interest”, Haniyya stated, “They want a timetable for the national unity talks, while they spent more than ten years holding fruitless negotiations with Israel”.