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Hamas, Israel to renew intensive talks on releasing Shalit
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09:21, December 15, 2008

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Well-informed sources revealed Sunday that Israel and Hamas agreed to renew indirect intensive talks, via Egypt, to finalize a prisoners' swap and release the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The Jerusalem-based Arabic newspapers al-Mannar quoted the sources as reporting on Sunday that both Hamas and Israel accepted an Egyptian request to run indirect intensive talks in Cairo to finalize the case of Shalit.

Hamas armed wing al-Qassam Brigades and two other militant groups abducted Shalit in an armed attacks near the border between southeast Gaza Strip and Israel. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in the attack in June 2006.

The well-informed Palestinian sources told the daily published in Jerusalem and the West Bank that a very senior Israeli official, declined to give his name, will leave to Cairo within the coming few hours.

The sources also said that a Hamas delegation would also head to Cairo to resume the talks on releasing around 1,500 Palestinian prisoners from the Israeli jails for releasing Shalit.

Israel wants to finalize Shalit's case before the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in Israel in February 2009. Hamas, meanwhile, rejects any intervention between Shalit's case and the truce with Israel.

An Egyptian-brokered truce reached between Hamas and Israel would end on Dec. 19. Amos Gilad, headed on Sunday to Cairo to discuss the extension of the six-month truce with Gaza militant groups.

Source: Xinhua

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