Israeli sources reported on Tuesday at night that the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, is “disappointed” by the list of detainees that the Palestinian demand to be freed in a prisoner swap deal that would see the release of the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.The sources stated that Israel will amend the list and send it to the Egyptian mediator between Israel and the fighters holding Shalit captive since June 2006.
Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, said that he was “disappointed by the list of detainees that the Palestinian groups want to see freed”.
He held a security meeting on Tuesday to discuss the list that was handed too Israel by Egypt.
Palestinian fighters holding Shalit captive demand Israel to release hundreds of Palestinian detainees, among them secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Saadat, and Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi, and detainees sentenced to life-terms and spent many years in prison.
Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, attended the discussion along with Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, Mossad Chief, Meir Dagan, and the former Shin Bet deputy chief Ofer Defek, who was appointed by Olmert to oversee that talks about releasing Shalit and releasing the two soldiers captured by the Lebanon-based Hezbollah party, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
Haaretz also said that Olmert’s office issued a statement saying that “disappointment was expressed” over the list of detainees Hamas wants to see freed.
The statement added that Israel will continue to hold talks with Egypt, and that it doesn’t seem that there is a solution in the horizon” although some progress was made.
The modified list is expected to be returned to Egypt through its mediator, and Israeli ministers will hold discussions on the issue. The Israeli cabinet would have to approve any deal before it is carried out.
Next week, Olmert and the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, are expected to meet and Olmert is expected to discuss the issue of Shalit with Abbas.
Senior Palestinian sources stated on Tuesday that there are close contacts with Olmert’s office in an attempt to hold the meeting between the two leaders Sunday.
Meanwhile, Abbas is also expected to ask Olmert to extend the cease-fire deal to the occupied West Bank and to stress the urgent need to solve the Palestinian economic crisis due to the Israeli restrictions and siege.