The negotiations over a proposed prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel are heating up as Israeli officials presented Egyptian mediators with their latest offer in order to obtain the return of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Israeli unwillingness to free all of the prisoners that Hamas asked for has lead to a sticking point in the negotiations. Of the roughly 350 people on the list, Israel has only shown desire to free 70 of them, said Hamas official Osama al-Mazeini.
The new Israeli proposal to free resistance fighters who have killed Israelis only to foreign countries was flatly rejected by the Egyptians, as talks haltered due to Israeli reticence to fully comply and Hamasâ€™ unwillingness to amend its list. This latest proposal came in advance of the planned indirect negotiations set to take place next week in Egypt.
As the talks continue to move forward, the two-year anniversary of the capturing of Shalit passed. The omission of his release as a condition in the cease-fire in Gaza lead to widespread criticism in Israel that the government was not doing enough to secure his release. His parents filed a petition in the Israeli high court, which was denied as its ruling upheld the truce and opening of the border crossings in Gaza. Some of these crossing were opened in the first day of the truce, however, Gaza borders remain closed now.