TEL AVIV, Israel --Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday confirmed an Arab newspaper report about new prisoner swap talks with Hamas.
In brief remarks reported by Israeli army radio, Netanyahu said the talks were resumed some weeks ago with the arrival of a German mediator to the region.
On Saturday, the London-based daily Al-Hayat quoted senior Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzooq as saying that Gerhard Konrad, the German mediator involved in setting up a swap, visited Gaza two weeks ago to hold talks with Hamas representatives and Israeli leaders.
It was Konrad's first visit to Gaza since the talks came to a halt in 2009.
The Israelis would seek the release from Hamas captivity of Gilad Shalit, a soldier who was captured in a cross-border raid in 2006. Hamas has demanded the release of 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for him.
Also Sunday, an Israeli airstrike killed two militants in the northern Gaza Strip who were trying to launch a rocket, both sides said. And four militants were hit in an area near the Sodaneya neighborhood of the northern Gaza Strip as they were trying to launch a homemade missile from the area at southern Israel. One died.
Over the past several weeks, Gaza militants have escalated their rocket attacks on Israel. The Israel military said more than 165 rockets and mortars had been fired at Israeli territory this year.