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Shalit mediator arrives in Gaza

Jan. 5, 2010 at 11:50 AM
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GAZA, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The mediator in talks to free kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has arrived in Gaza to talk to the Palestinian militant group Hamas, sources say.

The Israeli Web site Ynetnews.com, without naming sources, said German mediator Gerhard Conrad entered Gaza Tuesday through the Rafah crossing and is scheduled to meet with Hamas leaders Mahmoud al-Zahar and Khalil al-Haya.

The Israeli soldier was captured by Palestinian militants in 2006 during a cross-border raid into Israel and has since been held in Gaza.

Ynetnews.com said Hamas is expected to voice its reservations regarding an Israeli offer for a prisoner swap, but is nevertheless unlikely to shut the door on the continuation of talks.

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