[QODLink]
Archive
Egypt brokering prisoner swap
Egypt is in charge of talks regarding a prisoner swap between Israel and the Palestinians, according to one Israeli minister.
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2006 23:54 GMT
Mubarak first mooted a prisoner swap in June
Egypt is in charge of talks regarding a prisoner swap between Israel and the Palestinians, according to one Israeli minister.

The minister for infrastructure, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, said on Thursday that his government had accepted some Egyptian ideas on the process and had "accepted the framework that has been crystallised by the Egyptians".

Ben-Eliezer was speaking after talks in Cairo with, Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, but it was not clear if Mubarak had floated any proposals beyond those he made after Palestinian fighters captured an Israeli military officer near Gaza on June 25.

Corporate Gilad Shalit was seized on June 25 by Palestinian fighters who crossed over into Israel from Gaza to grab him.


According to that proposal, the Palestinian fighters would free the soldier in return for an Israeli commitment to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners at a future date.
Egypt blamed Hamas for preventing a deal on those terms.

Egypt in charge

Cairo has been mediating between the two sides on and off for more than three months, without any apparent progress.

Ben-Eliezer said the Egyptian government was working hard to bring about stability in the Middle East and "to change the situation in the south of Israel and mainly in Gaza".

Asked about a prisoner swap in exchange for the Israeli soldier, he said: "Because today the Egyptians are running the whole thing, I don't want to go into details.

"Egypt, as the leading power and the leading nation in the Arab world, knows exactly the sensitivity on both sides, and I believe that they could come, they have come with a framework that will be accepted," he said.

 

Israeli charge

 

In a related development, Israel accused Iran on Thursday of bribing a Hamas leader to sabotage the release of Shalit.

 

Dan Gillerman, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, told the UN Security Council that "we heard news" earlier in the day that Tehran had paid $50m to Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who lives in the Syrian capital Damascus, "to sabotage the negotiations on the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit and prevent his release".

 

"We have every reason to believe that the Iranian regime has bribed Khaled Meshaal," he later said. "I cannot divulge the sources or give you any further details on this."

 

Iranian UN envoy Mansour Sadeghi, also appearing before the 15-nation Security Council, dismissed Gillerman's allegations as "baseless and absurd".

 

He said the charges were meant to "deflect attention from the root causes for all tensions in the Middle East - that is the Israeli regime's aggression, occupation and state terrorism".

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
join our mailing list