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Hamas insists on no new prisoner swap before release of all under previous deal

June 30, 2020 at 11:34 am

Freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit salutes Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after landing in an Israeli army air base. Shalit was released on October 18 2011 after being held as a prisoner of war for five and a half years in the occupied Gaza Strip [IDF Online]

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, said on Monday that it would not go into any new prisoner swap agreement with Israel before the release of all prisoners who were supposed to be freed under the previous deal.

Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif Al-Qanou told a gathering of prisoners’ families in front of the International Red Cross office in Gaza that the re-imprisonment of the prisoners supposed to have freed under the Gilad Shalit deal was a breach of the guarantees provided and the terms of the agreement, which was brokered by Egypt.

Al-Qanou pointed out that the movement “has strong cards” to use for the release of the prisoners held by Israel. “We are able to oblige the occupation authorities to meet our demands.”

Long sentences, said the spokesman, and reinstating previous sentences for prisoners freed in the previous swap will not deter them.

In conclusion, the Hamas official called on Egypt to put pressure on the Israelis to commit to the terms of the Shalit deal.

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