According to a report appearing in the Saudi Arabian al-Watan newspaper on Thursday, quoting “sources involved in the talks”, Israel has informed the German mediator that it refuses to release Fatah Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti in a prisoner release deal. Barghouti is serving five live sentences.
Lebanese media report state the deadlock surrounds Israel’s refusal to release 15 terrorists appearing on the Hamas list, including 10 members of Hamas’ Izzadin al-Kassam military wing. The report also discounts the credibility of other Arab media reports that indicated Israel would agree to Barghouti’s release on condition that he is deported, with the Lebanese sources stating Israel refuses to release the master terrorist under any conditions.
As has been the case during recent weeks, there are no Israeli official statements regarding the talks, which the Prime Minister’s Office confirms are going on in earnest in the hope of bringing the captive soldier home.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)