(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's representatives to the Egyptian-mediated talks on the issue of a deal for the release of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit returned to Israel this evening (Monday), 16 March 2009. The two men - Israel Security Agency Director Yuval Diskin and the Prime Minister's special envoy, Ofer Dekel - updated Prime Minister Olmert on the results of the marathon and intensive discussions that they had conducted in recent days. According to the report, it became clear during the discussions that Hamas had hardened its position, reneged on understandings that had been formulated over the past year and raised extreme demands despite the generous proposals that had been raised in this round in order to advance and exhaust the negotiations and bring about the soldier's release.
Prime Minister Olmert has summoned a Cabinet meeting for tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday), 17 March 2009, during which ministers will receive full details on the results of the contacts that were held.