In what I believe to be a terrible mistake, YOU NEVER MAKE A DEAL WITH KIDNAPPERS OR TERRORISTS, an Israeli official is in Cairo trying to make a deal with Hamas to free all 450 of their prisoners in exchange for Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.
A dispute is now taking place as to whether the prisoners should be deported or returned home.
According to Haaretz online, Israel is insisting that several dozen of the released prisoners be exiled abroad and that others be released to Gaza rather than the West Bank. However, Hamas has thus far agreed to the deportation of only a handful of prisoner, and has conditioned even this on the consent of the prisoners to be deported.
Hamas officials are hoping to close the deal before the new Israeli government takes office.
When interviewed by a newspaper in Cairo, Senior Hamas official Mahmoud-A-Zahar denied a deal was in place saying, “Hamas isn’t talking with anyone about a prisoner exchange for Shalit. If anyone’s holding negotiation, it isn’t us.”
Although the meetings are being denied, Hamas and Israeli’s negotiating officials are expected to continue their reconciliation talks in Cairo through Saturday.