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Palestinian armed group denies imminent resumption of Shalit talks

06-18-2010 11:36 BJT

GAZA, June 17 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian guerrilla official on Thursday denied reports that Germany was planning to resume its mediation efforts to exchange an Israeli soldier for a number of Palestinian and Arab prisoners.

Abu Mujahed, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, an armed group that joined with Hamas in capturing the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006, said "Shalit's case doesn't witness any progress or anything new."

Al-Manar, a Palestinian newspaper based in East Jerusalem, quoted what it called "Palestinian sources" as saying that the German mediator who shuttled between Hamas and Israel in 2009 would return to the region by the end of June to start a new mission.

"The reports are untrue predictions and inaccurate," Abu Mujahed told Xinhua, adding "if we were officially informed about the progress, things will certainly be secret and away from media. "

The negotiations have been stalled since Israel and Hamas rejected each side's offers conveyed by the German mediator last December.

Hamas wants Israel to free as many as 1,000 prisoners in exchange for Shalit, who has been held hostage somewhere in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip since June 2006.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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