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Israel has made a new offer to exchange prisoners with Hamas, claims local radio

Israeli security forces near Israel's Ofer Prison in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 16 April 2015 [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]
Israeli security forces near Israel's Ofer Prison in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 16 April 2015 [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]

The Israeli authorities have made a new offer for a prisoner exchange with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Channel 12 radio claimed on Wednesday.

According to an anonymous source said to be familiar with the details of the negotiations to return four of its citizens held by the Palestinian movement, Israel has apparently made a new exchange offer through intermediaries. So far, no response has been made by Hamas. No details of the offer were provided.

However, the Hebrew-language radio channel reported that Israel has demonstrated its willingness to discuss an initiative with Hamas represented by the movement’s head in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Al-Sinwar. On 2 April, Al-Sinwar announced that Hamas was ready to make a “partial repatriation” in the case of the Zionist prisoners in exchange for the release of the elderly and sick prisoners held in Israeli prisons. It was described at the time as a humanitarian gesture during the coronavirus crisis.

Hamas holds four Israelis: two are soldiers captured during Israel’s military offensive against Gaza in the summer of 2014; the others entered Gaza in unclear circumstances some time over the past few years. It is not known whether they are dead or alive, but Israel makes a point of trying to return its citizens or their remains.

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