Abu Mazen blames Mashaal for railroading Shalit talks

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
In a meeting with Israeli officials, Palestinian President Abu Mazen blamed Hamas Chief Khaled Mashaal (photo) for sabotaging the talks to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit and assembling a new unity government.

Abu Mazen said these words in a meeting with Knesset Member Ephraim Sneh (Labor) in Ramallah yesterday. He also said that Mashaal is the main obstacle standing in the way of a deal to release Shalit. After the meeting Abu Mazen left for Egypt to meet with President Hosni Mubarak.

The Egyptians are very concerned with the negative effect that Khaled Mashaal has both on the talks to release Gilad Shalit and on talks to assemble a unity government in the Palestinian Authority. Mubarak asked his powerful intelligence chief Omar Suliman to send a message to Mashaal in Syria warning that if Shalit is not released soon, Israel will attack Gaza and hurt Hamas leaders.

Diplomatic sources say that Egypt has recently increased the pressure on Mashaal who is calling the shots from the Hamas headquarters in Syria.

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