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Hamas eyes prisoner swap deal with Israel soon

Palestinians celebrate as they wait for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Rafah, crossing in southern Gaza strip, on December 18, 2011. [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]
Palestinians celebrate as they wait for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Rafah, crossing in southern Gaza strip, on December 18, 2011. [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]

Hamas said yesterday that a "prisoner swap" with Israel is expected very soon "as the occupation had surrendered to the resistance's demands."

In a statement marking the tenth anniversary of a Shalit Prisoner Swap Deal, Hamas said: "The occupation has no option except submission and meeting our demands for reaching a prisoner swap."

On 18 October 2011, Hamas and Israel reached a prisoner swap named after the Israeli soldier who was released by Hamas – Gilad Shalit.

Israel released 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit.

Hamas did not give more details but said in the statement that the prisoner issue is a "top priority," stressing that the Palestinian resistance "will not stop working on releasing them.

"Meanwhile, it reiterated: "The Palestinian resistance will not accept any price for the release of Israeli captives in Gaza less than the release of Palestinian prisoners."

Israel believes the bodies of two of its soldiers, Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Sergeant Oron Shaul, are being held in Gaza after they were killed in battle during the 2014 assault on the enclave. This is in addition to two alleged civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed, who Hamas says are also soldiers and are being held as prisoners of war.

Meanwhile the occupation state is holding some 4,600 Palestinians, including women and children. Hundreds are held under administrative detention, without charge or trial.

READ: Palestinian hopes for freedom still alive 10 years after Shalit deal

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