A senior Hamas source denied the existence of any direct or indirect dialogue between the group and Israel over a prisoner swap.
The source told Quds Press on condition of anonymity that all “rumours” about the launch of indirect negotiations on a prisoner swap are baseless.
“Hamas’ stance is clear since … We will not start any talk about a prisoner swap before the occupation frees the 54 prisoners who had been included in the Al-Ahrar [prisoner exchange] deal [in 2011], before the occupation betrayed them and re-imprisoned them,” Quds Press quoted the Hamas official as saying.
Israel’s Channel 1 reported yesterday that talks between Israel and Hamas had started through a third party, which it did not name.
In 2011, Egypt mediated a prisoner swap deal that included the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
During the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza, Hamas reportedly captured two Israeli soldiers whose fate is currently unknown. Hamas has refused to reveal any information about them without the release of the 54 Palestinians who were re-imprisoned by Israel despite being previously released in the 2011 prisoner exchange deal.
Source: Quds Press International News Agency
Translated by: Middle East Monitor
In collaboration with the Palestinian Media Forum