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Hamas: No information about Israeli prisoners unless through talks

Sheikh Saleh Al-Arouri, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, has said that his movement will not disclose any information about the fate of Israeli prisoners without first engaging in negotiations, PLS48 news website reported on Sunday.

Al-Arouri said that all information reported by the mass media is not necessary official and he reiterated that “the movement will not reveal any piece of information unless through talks.”

A number of mass media outlets, quoting Hamas sources, have reported that Israeli soldiers captured by Hamas during the 51-day war in the Gaza Strip might still be alive.

The senior Hamas leader, who himself spent more than 17 years in Israeli jails, stressed that Hamas would not give any “free information” regarding the state of the Israeli prisoners.

Hamas’s military wing Al-Qassam Brigades announced during the war that it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier named Shaul Aron, but it did not disclose information on whether he was dead or alive. The Israel occupation forces reported that he was dead.

In Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli occupation announced that it had lost another soldier named Hadar Golden, but once again Al-Qassam did not provide any information about him.

Hamas senior official Musa Abu Marzouk, who is also a member of the Palestinian delegation to the indirect talks in Cairo, said that his delegation does not have information about the Israeli prisoners.

Mohamed Nazzal, another senior Hamas official, said that his movement had officially informed Cairo that the current indirect talks with Israel aimed only to reinforce the truce, thus there would have to be separate talks to resolve the issue of prisoners.

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