Hamas suspends prisoner swap talks

Palestinian group pulls out of negotiations over release of captured Israeli soldier.

    Gilad Shalit was captured by Palestinian
    fighters in June 2006 [EPA]

    Tenuous truce

    The truce was supposed to lead to the easing of a crippling blockade Israel imposed after Hamas seized power in Gaza more than a year ago, but the military said the crossings would stay closed until at least Sunday.

    In an interview with Al-Hayyat, a London based newspaper, Abu-Marzouk, chief negotatior on the fate of Shalit, accused rival Palestinian group Fatah of orchestrating the rocket attacks in order to sabotage Hamas.

    Abu-Marzouk also called on Egypt to intervene to ensure that the rocket fire stops.

    Israel has hinged its adherence to the ceasefire on negotiations for the release of Shalit, who was kidnapped by Gaza fighters in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

    Israel is expected to free hundreds of Palestinians being held in its jails in exchange of Shalit.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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