JERUSALEM, Aug. 18 (UPI) — Indirect Israeli-Hamas talks on a deal to secure the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit have been postponed indefinitely, al-Hayat reported.
The London based newspaper reported Thursday a third round of indirect talks has been delayed at the request of Egyptian mediators.
“Each party is interested in getting the best deal they can. We are still far from the point of saying that the talks have matured into a deal,” Ynetnews.com quoted a source as saying.
Egypt intends to formulate a compromise and submit it to the parties with the hope it will lead to the completion of the deal, al-Hayat said.
The unnamed source told the newspaper Hamas leader Khaled Masha’al in Cairo appeared confident a deal could be reached.
Since the beginning of the week, al-Hayat has published a number of reports concerning the indirect talks. In an unusual move Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed talks were under way but cautioned the less said, the better.
Shalit was on duty near the Gaza Strip in June 2006 when he was abducted and taken to Gaza where he has been held incommunicado.