Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, of Hamas, called Saturday for halt of all statements involving the prisoner swap proposal presented by Palestinians, via Egypt, to Israel.
The prime minister stressed that such an issue should be addressed only by the concerned bodies, lest information leaked by media outlets negatively affect the proposal.
Haniya affirmed that his cabinet is concentrating efforts and contacts with all bodies involved including the Egyptian mediators, to ensure the needed atmosphere for the success of the deal.
Palestinian information minister, Mustafa Barghouti, announced last week that the Palestinians had delivered a list of Palestinian prisoners to Israel, via Egyptian mediators, within a proposed prisoner swap deal to release Israeli corporal Gila’ad Shalit, captured in Gaza since last June.
Israel expressed disappointment and reservation over the proposed deal, claiming it contains names whose hands are ‘stained with blood’ and declared it would discuss the matter in a cabinet meeting on Sunday, pending a final official response.
Media reports said that a list of 1,000 to 1,300 Palestinian prisoners involving senior Fatah leader, Marwan Barghouti and secretary general of PFLP, Ahmad Sa’adat, was passed to Israel in return for the release of Shalit.
Shalit was captured in June25, 2006 by Palestinian resistance groups, linked to Hamas, in a cross-border resistance attack on an Israeli army base to the south of Gaza Strip.
The capture, which came right after a series of Israeli assassinations of Palestinians, resulted in a deadly massive attack on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 500 Palestinian men, women and children and devastating major infrastructure.
According to Palestinian sources, Israel still jails approximately 1,0000 Palestinians, including 120 women and 500 children. Israel has always been procrastinating their release, making the issue one of the most contentious Palestinian-Israeli peace talks’ agenda.