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Israeli newspaper: Israel may accept Hamas’ demand for a new prisoner swap

Palestinian detainees by Israeli soldiers [file photo]
Israeli soldiers and Palestinian detainees [file photo]

Israeli newspaper Maariv said it expected the Israeli government to accept Hamas’ demands in a new prisoner swap deal after it changed the status of the Israeli soldiers lost in during the offensive on Gaza in 2014 from “killed in action” to “captured”, Al Jazeera reported yesterday.

The newspaper said that Israel might start negotiations with Hamas over the return of the “bodies” of soldiers very soon.

The foreign ministry’s decision to change the status of the two lost soldiers, the newspaper said, came in response to pressure by the families of the soldiers.

It added that the families were angry because they found out about the change of status through the media.

Meanwhile, Zionist Camp MK Erel Margalit criticised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following the change, accusing him of “sacrificing the values of the Israeli people in order not to harm his personal position.”

He said that he is going to call for an emergency meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee to investigate Netanyahu’s measures regarding the lost soldiers. He described the decision to change their status as an “indication of the failure” of the offensive on Gaza.

“It is unbelievable that Netanyahu hides the fate of the sons of the nation of Israel after hiding the threat of the tunnels,” Margalit said.

Security expert Yossi Milman wondered whether Tel Aviv is going to surrender to Hamas’ demands after the change of the status of the lost soldiers.

Speaking to the same newspaper, he said that this decision is an indication that the Israeli army is facing much pressure from the families of the lost soldiers, noting that the army had decided to minimise family interference in such cases over the last few years.

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