Israel seeks Egypt mediation for prisoner swap with Hamas

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A prisoner swap between Tel Aviv and Hamas could not take place without Egyptian mediation, a senior Israeli official saying yesterday.

Speaking to Israeli radio, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s advisor on prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action, David Meidan said: “The issue of the Israeli soldiers would be resolved when there is an active mediator.

Currently, Egypt is the sole choice. When they feel they are the choice, they will find the way to speak to Hamas.”“We have experience about the price to be paid by Israel for a potential swap,” pointing out that his government is not ready to pay the same price as it had paid in the deal to release Gilad Shalit in 2011.

He noted that pressure from the Israeli public forced Israel to pay a high price for Shalit.

“At the end, Israel must release Palestinian prisoners in a swap with the Israeli prisoners held in Gaza… Such a swap could include a humanitarian angle, which is facilitating the Israeli siege on Gaza.”