A Hamas official told a Russian based media outlet Sputnik on Saturday, that the intermediary between the group and Israel on the issue of the Israeli citizens being held in Gaza is former quartet representative to the Middle East; Tony Blair. The official stated that Blair had officially met with Hamas leadership in order to discuss and reach a solution on the matter. The Hamas official denied reports that Germany had served as the intermediary. Blair has met with Khaled Mashel in Doha, Qatar, at least two times in recent weeks. An Israeli official refused to identify the intermediary in a conversation with Ynet, however, the official did say that in contrast to the Shalit deal, Egypt was not the intermediary.