The Al Qassam Brigade, the armed wing of Hamas, stated on Monday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and his Prime Minister, Sr. Salaam Fayyad, are obstructing all efforts to achieve an honorable prisoner swap deal. The Brigade added that Fayyad and Abbas are obstructing the achievement of a deal which will set the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit free in exchange for releasing Palestinian detainees. They added that Egypt is still continuing with its efforts but without any progress.

Abu Obaida, spokesperson of the Al Qassam Brigade, told a Hamas-run website on Monday evening that Abbas and Fayyad are obstructing the prisoner-swap talks and that they do not believe that the resistance can achieve an honorable deal.

Abu Obaida added that the Israeli decision to release 199 detainees, most of them Fatah members including a former legislator, is another Israeli attempt to increase internal divisions among the Palestinians.

Furthermore, Abu Obaida added that although there is Egyptian intervention, talks on a prisoner-swap deal are on a stand-still without any progress. He refused to give further information and said that the Al Qassam Brigade decided not to discuss this issue with the media.