A member of Hamas’ political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk, said “until now” there is no mediator regarding the movement’s prisoner swap initiative with Israel.
Abu Marzouk said Hamas Chief Yahya Al-Sinwar has “only opened the prisoners exchange file” and noted the possibility of Russian mediation, adding: “We welcome any mediation, but it must be welcomed by the other side as well.”
Earlier, the head of Hamas movement in Gaza Strip, Yahya Al-Sinwar said consultations regarding the prisoner swap deal stopped since the beginning of the political crisis in Israel.
“We told all the mediators that it is not possible to start negotiations on a new deal before [Israel] releases all the Palestinian detainees who had been released under the Shalit deal,” he said, explaining that Israel had rearrested a number of them after their release.
He pointed out that Hamas can make a “partial concession” regarding the Israeli soldiers captured by the movement in return for “the [Israeli] occupation releasing the elderly and sick prisoners as a humanitarian initiative in light of the coronavirus crisis”.
The Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange followed a 2011 agreement between Israel and Hamas to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis, although there was also a Ukrainian, a Jordanian and a Syrian.