The Al Hayat Paper in London reported Friday that a third round of indirect prisoner-swap talks was held in Cairo last Tuesday under direct Egyptian supervision mediating between the Hamas movement and Israel, in an attempt to reach a prisoner swap deal. Yet, Israel presented a list of detainees it will not release under any condition. Al Hayat reported that Cairo prepared a draft that includes all points of agreement, and new ideas that are said to help advance prisoner swap talks that would ensure the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian detainees imprisoned by Israel.

Israel agreed to release all female prisoners, and Arab-Palestinian prisoners from Jerusalem and the 1948 territories (Israel).

During previous rounds of talks, Israel presented a list that contains the names of 120 detainees that it will not release under all circumstances. But according to the new report, the list dropped to 40 detainees.

The Al Hayat further reported that Israel also agreed to reduce the number of detainees it insists on deporting out of Palestine.

It is worth mentioning that the Hamas negotiations team is headed by Ahmad Al Ja’bary, a senior leader of the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, and David Midan, representing the Israeli Prime Minister.

Corporal Gilad Shalit was captured when three Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza carried out a cross border raid on a military base in June 2006; two Israeli soldiers and two fighters were killed.

Shalit is the only Israeli prisoner in Palestinian hands; Israel is holding captive more than 7500 Palestinians, including dozens of women and children.