Israeli Official: Hamas Rejected Swap of Prisoners for Remains of IDF Soldiers Held in Gaza
JNS.org — Hamas, the terrorist organization that runs Gaza, has rejected Israel’s exchange of living and dead Palestinian prisoners for the remains of two IDF soldiers, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Speaking to the Institute for Anti-Terror Policy, IDF Col. Lior Lotan (res.), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s liaison for prisoners and missing persons, explained that the deal would have seen the return of 19 Hamas prisoners arrested by the IDF in 2014 and the bodies of 19 terror operatives in exchange for the remains of Lieutenants Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.
“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.
“In an unprecedented manner, Hamas responded negatively and placed preconditions, [seeking] a solution [that called] for other prisoners not from the Gaza Strip and not connected to Operation Protective Edge,” he said.
The bodies of Goldin and Shaul 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.