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    Shalit talks at a deadlock

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    Indirect talks between Israel and Hamas over a deal to secure the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, have been postponed indefinitely. A report published by the London based newspaper al-Hayat on Thursday said a third round of indirect talks that were to have taken place have been delayed at the request of the Egyptian mediators. "Each party is interested in getting the best deal they can. We are still far from the point of saying that the talks have matured into a deal," the source said. Egypt intends to formulate a compromise and submit it to the parties with the hope that it will lead to the completion of the deal. An unnamed source told the newspaper that Hamas leader Khaled Masha'al who traveled to Cairo, appeared confident that a deal could be reached. Since the beginning of the week al-Hayat published a number of reports concerning the indirect talks between the sides seeking to reach a deal. In an unusual move Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed that talks were underway but cautioned the less said the better. Shalit was on operational duty near the Gaza Strip in June 2006 when he was abducted and taken to Gaza where he has been held incommunicado.