Hamas Delegation Reportedly in Egypt for Negotiations on Prisoner Exchange Deal With Israel
JNS.org – The Palestinian terror organization Hamas has reportedly sent a delegation led by terrorist Marwan Issa to Egypt to discuss the possibility of a prisoner exchange deal with Israel.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday denied reports of a “breakthrough” in negotiations for the return of Israeli citizens and the bodies of slain Israeli soldiers held in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
“We don’t negotiate with terror organizations,” said Lieberman, responding to a report by the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar on allegedly productive indirect talks between Israel and Hamas, calling the report “psychological warfare” by the terror group.
Yet the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported Monday that an unnamed Palestinian source said Israel-Hamas negotiations have “come a long way.”
In January, it was reported that Qatar had attempted to broker a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas that would see the terror group return two captive Israeli citizens and the remains of two Israeli soldiers. The report was not corroborated by any Israeli source, and Hamas denied that indirect negotiations were taking place.
IDF Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin, whose remains are being held by Hamas, were killed in Gaza in separate battles during the Israel-Hamas war in 2014. Ethiopian-Israeli Avera Mengistu and Bedouin-Israeli Hisham al-Sayed, both believed to be suffering from mental health issues, crossed into Gaza willingly in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and were captured by Hamas.