Hamas officially denies progress in prisoner swap

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has denied reports regarding progress relating to the potential prisoner swap with Israel. 

In a statement, member of the Hamas Political Bureau Mousa Abu-Marzouq announced “the movement denies news reports published by media agencies regarding progress of the prisoner swap between Hamas and the Israeli occupation.” He added that “the Israeli occupation is responsible for making no progress in this regard.”

The official continued “we call on Palestinian media agencies to handle this issue responsibly, because it is a very sensitive topic for the Palestinian prisoners and their families. Mass media should only report news relating to this issue after obtaining confirmation from official bodies.”

Past transgressions

It is worth noting that in 2017, Hamas’ military wing Al-Qassam Brigades announced the names of four Israelis, including two captured during the Israeli onslaught in Gaza in 2014.

As a pre-condition for any talks relating to a prisoner swap, Hamas has affirmed that all Palestinian prisoners released in the 2011 swap, known as the Shalit Deal, and were reincarcerated must be released.

Last week, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the families of the four Israelis and pledged to work for their return. The families accused Netanyahu and his government of neglecting their sons and providing false information about efforts to release them.