Member of Hamas' politburo Izzat Ar-Rashaq was quoted in the media confirming Israeli stubbornness as being behind the impending resignation of Conrad, saying Israel "put him in a critical situation." He said Conrad gave both sides a deadline in early 2010, and indicated that if an agreement was not made by then, he would step down. Ar-Rashaq said the final obstructions to a swap deal were the refusal of Israel to release Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Ahmad Saadat, Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouthi and Hamas leaders Abbas As-Sayyed, Hassan Salameh, Ahlam At-Tamimi and Qahera As-Sadi. The release of these men was totally rejected by Israel, Ar-Rashaq said, noting the inability to go ahead with the release of the captured Israeli soldier without the inclusion of these figures in the release. Maan News Agency: Report: Hamas expects German swap mediator to step down What I find interesting is that Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouthi is the only person who could beat Hamas in the next election. Yet Hamas has him on the top of the list of people they want released. Hmmmmm.