Israel says no more concessions for prisonerFriday 08 January 2010 08.42
Israel will not make any more concessions to Hamas in negotiations for the exchange of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by Gaza militants in 2006.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told his negotiator to make it clear Israel will not retreat from its position that some of the prisoners Hamas wants freed cannot be released, radio and several newspapers reported.
He also insists some of the prisoners cannot be released in the occupied West Bank as this would jeopardise its security, public radio said.
‘Netanyahu sent a clear signal to Hamas: the proposal sent by Israel to Hamas, via the German mediator, is the last of its kind.
Israel will no longer negotiate on the details of the deal,’ the Maariv newspaper said, citing a senior official it did not name.
Both sides have been tight-lipped about the indirect negotiations, but Hamas, the Islamist leaders of the Gaza Strip, seek the release of hundreds of prisoners including several top militants convicted of killing scores of Israelis in major attacks.
Mr Shalit, now 23, was captured by Hamas fighters and militants from two other groups in a deadly cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip in June 2006.