Hamas denies meeting with German mediator

08:56, October 22, 2010      

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A Hamas lawmaker denied Thursday that a German mediator met with jailed Hamas officials to discuss the prisoner exchange deal with Israel.

Gerhard Konrad, the German mediator, "never met with the imprisoned Hamas leaders," said Hamas lawmaker Ali Romanin.

The London-based al-Hayyat daily reported Thursday that Konrad met with Hamas leaders in prison to discuss means of pushing forward the Shalit swap deal.

Israel released Romanin on Tuesday after he spent 45 months in detention. He was detained along with tens of Hamas officials in the West Bank in response to Gaza militants' capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit near Gaza.

Romanin told Xinhua that Israeli officials have met with jailed Hamas leaders to press for the deal under Israeli terms and conditions.

Germany has been mediating between Hamas and Israel to release the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and the efforts resumed recently after months of stall. Palestinian and Israeli sources confirmed that the German mediator visited Israel and the Gaza Strip three weeks ago as part of renewed efforts to revive the swap talks.

Source: Xinhua


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