Negotiations Break Down Over Release of Israeli Soldier
Negotiations in Cairo, Egypt broke down on Tuesday between Hamas and the Israeli government to return an Israeli soldier captured almost three years ago. Hopes had been high that an agreement could be reached, but Israel's negotiators returned home without a deal.
Hamas wanted a number of prisoners returned in exchange for Gilad Shalit, the soldier who was captured in a cross-border raid near the Gaza Strip. Hamas wants hundreds of prisoners exchanged for his release, including individuals connected with violent attacks and Palestinian politicians.
Israel has been negotiating through an Egyptian intermediary with the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, to exchange Gilad Shalit for hundreds of prisoners in Israeli jails.
But Israel's negotiators returned home Tuesday without a deal.
"We were willing to be flexible, but it doesn't appear it is going to be possible," to reach a deal before outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's term in office ends, likely over the next few days, said Olmert spokesman Mark Regev.