- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 29, 2009

JERUSALEM (AP) - An Israeli official close to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says a prisoner swap deal with Hamas is all but impossible before Olmert leaves office.

Cabinet Secretary Oved Yehezkel says contacts are ongoing. But he told Army Radio on Sunday that he assumes “matters will wait for the new government” to be sworn in this week.

Israel and Hamas are discussing a deal that would see hundreds of Palestinian prisoners freed in return for an Israeli soldier captured in a cross-border raid in 2006.

Egyptian-mediated talks broke down earlier this month. Israel said it couldn’t agree to the list of militants Hamas wants freed, including some implicated in killing Israelis in bomb attacks. Yehezkel says Hamas hasn’t provided a new list of prisoners.

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