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Hamas will not prove captured soldiers are alive

Placed at the Al-Saraya junction in Gaza, a billboard shows Shaul Arun, an Israeli solider, standing with jail bars around him [Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]
Placed at the Al-Saraya junction in Gaza, a billboard shows Oron Shaul, an Israeli solider, standing with jail bars around him [Mohammed Asad/Apaimages]

Hamas has rejected a request from European parties to allow Israeli soldiers detained by the movement in the Gaza Strip to send messages to their families to show them that they are still alive; Israeli media reported.

The Qassam Brigades captured two Israeli soldiers; Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, and civilians Abera Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed.

Lior Lotan, the former Israeli coordinator on Israeli hostages and missing soldiers, said on Monday that Hamas will only return the Israeli hostages and the bodies of the two soldiers as part of a separate deal and not as part of a main agreement under negotiation between Israel and Hamas that would ease the siege on the enclave.

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“The statement that we will bring back our soldiers when there is an agreement with Hamas is misleading. It will never happen,” he said.

The statements came two days after Oron Shaul’s mother accused the Israeli government of abandoning her son while stressing that he was alive when Hamas detained him.

Meanwhile, the Qassam Brigades confirmed that it has not received any request from the Israeli government with regards to missing civilian, Abera Mengistu, since his disappearance.

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