Middle East

Hamas wants Israel to pledge to respect Shalit prisoner swap – Middle East Monitor

Hamas will start talks on a new prisoner swap deal with the occupation if Israel respects the previous agreement, Saudi’s Al-Sharq newspaper reported.

According to Quds Net News, Al-Sharq reported that Cairo hosted two Hamas and Israeli delegations who carried indirect discussions over two-days about a potential prisoner swap mediated by Egypt.

Sources said Hamas requested Israel respect the terms of the previous prisoner swap known as the Shalit deal prior to any talks about a new swap.

The sources told Al-Sharq that the Israeli delegation proposed easing the siege on Gaza in return for Hamas releasing Israeli prisoners of war, but Hamas refused.

Both sides, according to the Saudi newspaper, agreed to hold another indirect meeting soon brokered by Egypt.

Neither Hamas nor Israel has commented on the report.

READ: Hamas insists on no new prisoner swap before release of all under previous deal

Israel believes Hamas is holding the bodies of two deceased Israeli soldiers, Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Sergeant Oron Shaul, as well as the alleged civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed who Hamas says are also soldiers.

The 2011 Shilat deal saw 1,027 Palestinians released in return for Israeli soldier Gilad Shilat. Some of those released in that deal, however, were rearrested by Israeli authorities in 2014.

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