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German mediator presents Hamas new ideas for Shalit prisoner exchange deal

The German mediator working towards a prisoner exchange deal that will include the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit has presented new ideas to Hamas officials that may lead to a breakthrough in the talks.

A senior Hamas official told the Al-Hayat newspaper that Hamas views the new ideas as positive and that the mediator will return soon to Gaza with answers to clarifications raised by Hamas. Hamas reported that the mediator was in Gaza last week for the third time in the past three months.

Shalit was captured in Israel by Hamas in a cross border raid along the Gaza border on 25 June 2006.