(JNS.org) The Hamas terror group has rejected Israel’s proposals for a prisoner exchange deal that would return the remains of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers as well as missing Israeli citizens, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Hamas is responsible for preventing a deal requesting the return of the bodies of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul to their families, according to IDF Col. (res.) Lior Lotan, who spoke at the Institute for Policies Against Terror.
"It is internationally accepted, even in the worst confrontations, that both sides exchange soldiers and the dead at the end of the conflict," Lotan said.
Lotan, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s liaison for prisoners and missing persons, said that Hamas refused a deal that would return 19 Hamas prisoners arrested by the IDF in 2014 and the bodies of 19 operatives in exchange for the Israeli soldiers’ remains.
"In an unprecedented manner, Hamas responded negatively and placed preconditions, a solution calling for other prisoners not from the Gaza Strip and not connected to Operation Protective Edge," he said.
Goldin and Shaul’s bodies have been held by Hamas in Gaza for the last two years after they were abducted and killed during Operation Protective Edge in July 2014.