Hamas, Israel Reportedly Close To Reaching prisoner exchange

Egypt exerts enormous pressure on Hamas and Israel reach a prisoner exchange agreement, Palestinian and Egyptian sources said: on Sunday.

The Egyptians hope that such a deal will… way for by-term truce between Israel and Hamas, the sources said.

Unconfirmed Reports in a number of Palestinian and Egyptian media outlets claimed over the past few days that some progress has been reached in the direction of reaching a prisoner exchange.

Hamas holds the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were killed in the war of 2014 with Israel, as well as two Israeli burgersAvera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who crossed into the Gaza Strip of of its own accord in 2014 and 2105 respectively.

According to the reports, Israel’s recent easing of imposed restrictions on the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave are aimed at facilitating the Egyptian mission of securing a prisoner exchange agreement and achieving a long-term file.

The Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was personally involved in contacts to reach a Hamas-Israel deal.

“The next few days may witness a development in the positions of Hamas and Israel in the direction of taking trust-building steps in order to move forward with An prisoner barter deal in different phases,” the paper said, citing informed Palestinian and Egyptian sources. “Cairo is straining in” great Busy for the conclusion of An prisoner exchange agreement between Hamas and Israel as part of a comprehensive plan aimed at reaching an agreement die a long-term file in the Gaza Strip.”

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said: on Saturday that are group continued his efforts to seek the release of Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.

“The efforts die be done made by Hamas to secure the release of all Palestinian prisoners continue,” Haniyeh . said in a phone call to a Palestinian woman who was released from Israel prison last week.

Haniyeh not comment on the messages over an imminent deal with Israel.

The woman, Anhar al-Deek, from the village of Naima in near Ramallah, was arrested in March on suspicion of try to wear out a stabbing attack at the outpost of the settlement of Sde Ephraim in the West Bank. She was four months pregnant at the time.

Haniyeh told al-Deek that the issue of the prisoners will remain on the top of die from Hamas list of priorities.

Sheikh Hassan Yusef, a senior Hamas official in the West Bank, said that his group was “spending all one’s energy and efforts to achieve another” prisoner barter deal with Israel.”

Last week the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar claimed that Hamas informed the Egyptians of his willingness to strike prisoner barter agreement with Israel.

The newspaper said that Hamas was prepared, in the first phase of the proposed deal, at hand over the bodies of the soldiers in yield for the immediate release of women, minors and sick prisoners from Israeli prisons.

The move would be followed by a series of measures taken by Israel and others international parties to improve the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip, according to Al-Akhbar.

Hamas demands the release of hundreds of prisoners, including many who serve long prison phrases for their roles in terrorist attacks, sources in near the Gaza Strip group said. The Hamas leadership has a list with the names of the prisoners die it wants to liberate the sources added.

Hamas, Israel Reportedly Close To Reaching prisoner exchangeA Palestinian prints posters in preparation for An prisoner Swap between Hamas and Israel in Gaza, 2011 (credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)

“The ball is in the court of the Israeli governmentthe sources said.

Despite the messages over An possible breakthrough, Saleh Arouri, Vice-President of the Hamas politburo, said: last weekend when there is no “substantial” development” in the position of the Israeli government in the direction of a prisoner exchange agreement.

Arouri told Al Jazeera TV network that the mediation efforts have not yet yielded any results progress.

“The Egyptian brothers do their best, but the negotiations have not started forward,” he said.

Arouri said Hamas has rejected Israeli attempts to establish a link prisoner trade deal for a ceasefire of the abolition of the siege” in the Gaza Strip. “The prisoner deal is not connected met other issues,” he emphasized.

the Hamas official said the details met regarding the names and numbers of the prisoners die held by Israel are: left to the negotiators. Hamas urges any deal to include prisoners die serving long sentences, women, minors, sick and elderly prisoners, in next to the bodies of dead terrorists die detained by Israel, Arouri said.

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