Report: Qatar Trying to Broker Hamas Prisoner Exchange With Israel
JNS.org — Qatar has reportedly attempted to broker a deal between Israel and Hamas, in which the terrorist group would return two living Israeli citizens and the remains of two IDF soldiers being held captive, an Arabic-language newspaper reported Wednesday.
According to the Nazareth-based Kul al-Arab, Mohammed al-Emadi, Qatar’s envoy to the Gaza Strip and head of the Qatari National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, has been negotiating with both sides to make the swap. The report has not been corroborated by any Israeli source.
Senior Hamas official Salah Bardawil was quoted by Kul al-Arab as saying, “I’m not aware of any Qatari involvement, but there are talks between the parties on this issue.”
Israel has been working to garner the release of the bodies of Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin, killed in Gaza during separate battles of 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, and to obtain the safe return of Ethiopian Israeli Avera Mengistu and Bedouin Hisham al-Sayed, both of whom have mental health issues and willingly crossed into Gaza in 2014 and 2015, respectively, where they were captured by Hamas.