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Israel has not responded to prisoner exchange proposal, says Hamas

April 17, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Demonstration in support of the Palestinian prisoners, outside the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza City, Gaza on May 22, 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has said that Israel has not yet responded to its prisoner exchange proposal. “The success or failure of this initiative depends on [Israel’s] seriousness, and the ball is in its court,” said Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Al-Qanoua on Thursday.

Al-Qanoua stressed that the prisoners’ file is a top priority for the movement’s leadership. Hamas, he added, is working hard to free all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

According to Palestinian Legislative Council member Mushir Al-Masri, Hamas holds strong cards to pressure Israel into an exchange deal. He told a press conference on Thursday in front of the International Red Cross headquarters in Gaza that the movement reiterates its readiness for an exchange. He added that the humanitarian proposal aims to free the largest number of Palestinian prisoners, including those freed under the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal whom Israel rearrested afterwards, as well as the sick, the elderly, children and women.

Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar reported this week that Hamas has demanded that Israel should release 250 Palestinian prisoners in return for information about four Israelis held in Gaza, including two soldiers captured on active duty in 2014.

READ: Jerusalem Post urges negotiating prisoner swap deal with Hamas