Israeli media sources reported on Monday that a new letter from Gil’ad Shalit the captured Israeli soldier in the Gaza strip has reached his family.The reports said that the letter was delivered by the Israeli government to his family after its authenticity was verified.

Egyptian officials said this letter will help to push the negotiations over a possible prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian resistance. Egypt has been mediating between Israel and the Palestinian resistance who captured Shalit two years ago.

Shalit was captured by the Palestinian resistance the Qassam brigades of Hamas, in the summer of 2006 during an operation targeting a military post on the Gaza Israeli borders.

On Sunday the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert decided to ease the criteria for releasing Palestinian prisoners as part of the swap deal for Shalit, Olmert however insisted that the Hamas movement should also be more flexible if the deal to be accomplished.

The new criteria is still unknown but Israeli officials said it is much more relaxed than the old one, the chief of the Israeli secret service – Shabak- Youval Dixon, said that easing the criteria will not only support Hamas, but will also will aid the freeing of Palestinians who have killed Israelis.

Ofer Dekel, who was appointed by the Israeli government to negotiate the Shalit deal, told the Israeli media that the eased criteria should bollster the negotiations over the prisoner swap deal.

Hamas said on Monday the movement is willing to conduct the swap if Israel meets the demands of the movement.

Hamas demanded the release of scores of political Palestinian detainees from Israel in return for Shalit, the want prisoners who have high sentences, women and prisoners with illnesses. Israel refused to release prisoners who have killed Israelis, which led to the negotiations to stumble in the past.

Translated by Ghassan Bannoura – IMEMC News