Egyptian intelligence chief in Israel to discuss prisoner exchange
Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman met Wednesday with Israeli officials to discuss the prisoner exchange for captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. Shalit has been held in Gaza Strip since June 25.
Israeli premier Ehud Olmert said earlier this week that Shalit's return was a precondition for diplomatic negotiations with the PA, but that Israel was ready to free many Palestinian prisoners.
According to Haaretz, Suleiman was to brief Olmert and other Israeli officials on his talks with Khaled Meshal, the Hamas' political bureau chief, held in Cairo last week. After these talks, the Egyptian side said that progress had been made toward finalizing a prisoner exchange deal.
However, according to a source familiar with the negotiations over Shalit, the talks are currently at an impasse due to disagreements over how many Palestinian prisoners Israel will free in exchange for Shalit. The source said Hamas is insisting that Israel release at least 1,000 prisoners. Olmert is reportedly ready to a maximum of 300 prisoners.
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