(July 9, 2020 / JNS) Israel recently presented Hamas with a proposal for a prisoner swap and is waiting for a response, Ynet reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, the proposed deal (the details of which have not been released) was conveyed through a third party.
Hamas, the terror group that runs the Gaza Strip, is currently holding on to the bodies of two Israel Defense Forces’ soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, both of whom were killed during the 2014 “Operation Protective Edge.”
It is also known to be holding hostage civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, two Israelis who crossed on foot into the Strip of their own accord in 2014 and 2015.
In a video address last week at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem commemorating the fallen soldiers of “Operation Protective Edge,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Everything [is being] done to bring home Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, the beloved fighter who excelled, and 1st Lt. Hadar Goldin, the admired commander who swept his fighters in his wake. It is our basic, human duty to them and to their families.”
In April, Channel 13 cited a senior Israeli source saying that the coronavirus crisis had created “an exceptional and rare opportunity to reach a prisoner deal with Hamas.” Other Hebrew media outlets reported significant progress in a prisoner exchange.
In May, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh threatened to kidnap more Israelis if a prisoner deal is not reached.
“A prisoner-exchange deal has a known price,” he said. “Israel knows that. Either we will come to a respectable deal or we will go to the other option, which is increasing our loot. Our arm is long.”
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