Israel agreed to a truce deal with the ruling Hamas party in Gaza, if the captured Israeli soldier, Gil’ad Shalit, is released from his captivity in Gaza, Palestinian media sources reported Tuesday.
The sources said that Israel informed the chief of Egyptian intelligence, Omar Sulieman, that it agreed to the ceasefire if the deal includes the release of captured Israeli soldier, Gil’ad Shalit, Hamas holds in Gaza since June2006.
Maan News Agency reported that the Shalit case can not be solved in less than 6 months and as Israel refused the release of 40 Palestinian prisoners of 450 others , Hamas wants to see freed in swap of Shalit.
Hamas also did not object to transferring Shalit to Egypt, as a first stage in a possible prisoners swap deal with Israel.
Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, who has met recently with President Husni Mubarak of Egypt in Cairo, said that Israel wont accept any truce deal with Hamas, unless Shalit is released.
In the meantime, French diplomats have met recently with Hamas representatives , in a bid to discuss future Hamas role in the shadow of the stalemate of Abbas-Olmert peace talks.
The Hamas-French discussions came out with Hamas’s insistence not to recognize Israel, but Hamas agreed to a Palestinian state within the borders of 1967, involving the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the occupied east Jerusalem.
The French diplomats, from their part, believed that the underway international boycotting of Hamas will bring nothing and that they are opposed to sanctions against the Islamist party.
Israeli media sources reported earlier that the French foreign minister, Bernar Kochner, has made unofficial contacts with the ruling Hamas party.
Last month, representatives of 12 Palestinian resistance factions, including the ruling Hamas party, agreed in Cairo to an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire deal with Israel for a period of six months in Gaza, to be later on extended to the West Bank.
The international community, Israel and the United States, have sidelined Hamas since the party took power in January2006’s parliamentary elections, as Hamas shuns peace talks with Israel until Israel halts actions against the Palestinian people.