Report: Prisoner Exchange Talks Between Israel and Hamas to Resume After High Holidays
Prisoner exchange talks between Israel and Hamas will resume after the Jewish High Holidays, the London-based Arabic-language daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Tuesday.
Gaza Strip-ruling Hamas is currently holding the bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, IDF soldiers killed in battle during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, as well as two living Israeli civilians who crossed into Gaza, Avera Mengistu and Hashim Badawi al-Sayyid.
According to the report, sources indicated that Egyptian mediators were working on a deal, but talks were halted for the Jewish holidays and will be renewed afterward.
Hamas is reportedly willing to reach an agreement, but only if its demands for the release of hundreds of prisoners currently held by Israel are met.
In April, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said this would have to be preceded by the preliminary release of sick, elderly and female prisoners, as well as minors, “in exchange for offering something.”
He did not describe what the “something” would be.
Asharq Al-Awsat stated that Khalil al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas politburo, confirmed the talks and said Israeli offers had thus far not been satisfactory, though the issue was under discussion.