Egypt to Resume Shalit's Talks between Israel, Hamas
Published: May 05, 2009 08:06 PM Updated: May 25, 2011 12:45 PM

Egypt resumed its efforts to broker a prisoner exchange deal between Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement and Israel, sources said on Tuesday.

According to the sources, which spoke on condition of anonymity, the discussions will start "very soon" prior to the fifth round of inter-Palestinian dialogue that would be held in Cairo in the middle of this month.

The talks will be resumed "from the last point it reached before they stopped," said the sources. They aim at securing the release of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier which Hamas captured in 2006, in exchange for a number of Palestinian prisoners.

Hamas demands Israel to free 450 prisoners, mostly those of life sentence and leaders of the Palestinian groups in the first phase of the swap. Afterwards, Israel has to free 950 prisoners who will include all the patients, women and children.

The Egyptian-mediated talks stopped in February after Israel accused Hamas of making its demands harder in the last minute.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees ( PRC), a militant group that joined Hamas in capturing Shalit near the Gaza Strip, said they were not informed by Egypt about any resumption of Shalit's talks.

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