Khalid Mashal, head of the Political Bureau of the Hamas movement in Syria, stated that Israel is responsible for the delay in achieving a prisoner-swap deal with the Hamas movement. Speaking at a conference in Tehran, Mashal said that the release of Gilad Shalit, captured by the resistance since mid 2006, depends on fulfilling the demands of Hamas.

“But if Netanyahu, and other leaders, fail to comply, they will never see Shalit again’ said Mashal.

A newspaper in Kuwait reported Tuesday that Israel is rejecting the release of eight detainees; Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmad Saadat, Abdullah Barghouthi, Abbas Al Sayyid, Ibrahim Hamed, and three female detainees identified as Amena Mona, Ahlam Tamimi and Qahira Sa’dy.

Mashal stated that the claims of Israel’s President, Shimon Peres, in which he accused Hamas of causing the delay, are false and added that Peres “is aware that the Israeli side is causing the delay’.

“There are 11,000 detainees imprisoned by Israel, we handed Israel a list of detainees we want to swap for the release of Shalit”, Mashal said, “But Israel is still rejecting the release of senior political prisoners and fighters”.

Israeli paper, Yedioth Aharonoth, reported that Hamas leader, Osama Al Mazeeny, handed the German mediator a new and modified proposal, and that the movement is now waiting Israel’s response.

Two days ago, Al Mazeeny said that the German mediator presented new ideas that could facilitate a prisoner-swap deal, and added that the coming days will not witness any development.

The Israeli paper said that the German mediator would return to the Middle East to start a final round of talks.

Meanwhile, the Al Watan Kuwaiti paper reported that a senior Egyptian source said that Cairo invited Hamas leaders into Egypt to finalize talks on prisoner-swap deal.

Ayman Taha, a senior Hamas leader, stated that media report on a nearing swap-deal is incorrect, and that a swap-deal ‘has a long way to go’.