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Hamas says no progress in prisoner exchange file

Hamas Spokesman Hazim Qasim
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem, 9 October 2019 [Twitter]

Hamas yesterday denied that developments have been made regarding the prisoner exchange file with Israel.

In a statement the movement's spokesman, Hazem Qassem, said: "The Zionist news is untrue and there's nothing new regarding the file," in reference to reports in the Israeli media about negotiations taking place between Hamas and Tel Aviv, under Egyptian auspices.

He added that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "continues to evade taking any decision in this file."

Qassem said that Netanyahu aims, by circulating these rumours, to "strengthen his chances in any upcoming elections."

Israeli media, including Walla news website, reported on Sunday that unnamed Israeli officials said that there were negotiations with Hamas regarding the exchange of prisoners.

READ: Hamas ready to resume intra Palestinian dialogue

Walla indicated that Israel refuses to release Palestinian detainees accused of killing Israelis, but it is willing to release others.

The website reported that Hamas rejected the Israeli offer.

Four Israelis are being held in the besieged Gaza Strip as prisoners of war. Two are soldiers who were captured during the Israeli war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, while the other two entered Gaza in suspicious circumstances years ago. Hamas believe they were undercover soldiers.

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