Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud AbbasBrendan McDermid/REUTERS

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas sent a special request to Hamas, urging them to agree to a prisoner swap with Israel.

Speaking to the Wafa news agency, Abbas called on Hamas to quickly reach a prisoner swap agreement, in order to "prevent deportation and suffering for the Palestinian nation, and in order to distance IDF forces from Rafah."

Turning to all those involved in the negotiations, Abbas urged that "all sides take responsibility for the failure to reach a deal until now."

On Tuesday, a US official told CNN that the Cairo talks were productive and serious, but did not yet arrive at a breakthrough that would result in a final deal.

Last month, a broad framework for an agreement was sketched out in Paris by representatives of the United States, Israel, Qatar and Egypt. That proposal included a six-week cease-fire and the exchange of hostages in Gaza for convicted terrorists jailed in Israel.

Hamas came back with a counterproposal that demanded the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.

In addition, the terror group demanded that the hostages to be freed in the first stage would be women, children, the sick, and the elderly, in exchange for the release of all female and minor terrorists held in Israel, along with all male terrorists over age 50.

This would include approximately 1,500 other terrorists held by Israel, including 500 convicted of murder who are serving life or lengthy sentences.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the counterproposal and said he would never “surrender to the ludicrous demands of Hamas.”