Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida’s claims that Syria had approved secret negotiations regarding a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas were denied today by a Hamas leader.The report claimed on Friday that senior officials from both Hamas and Israel had been holding secret meetings in an unspecified Gulf state to create an arrangement regarding a prisoner swap.

The newspaper’s sources said that these meetings were to be the first step in achieving ongoing communication between the two enemies.

Hamas leader Ayman Taha, however, told news group Ma’an that the report was ‘completely false’ this Saturday. Taha also denied any change in Hamas’ policy regarding talks with Israel, and condemned the idea of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Such talks were begun earlier this year but have since lagged, strengthening cynicism towards the peace process.