A German mediator who was involved in the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011 is participating in the current talks.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF – The Jerusalem Post
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh next to his destroyed office (REUTERS/Handout)
(photo credit: HANDOUT/REUTERS).
Hamas is ready to release information on Israeli prisoners if Israel releases 250 prisoners it’s holding, but is still not ready to negotiate a deal to release the Israeli captives, according to Al-Akhbar.
A German mediator who was involved in the prisoner swap that led to the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011 has begun participating in the current talks between Israel and Hamas.
Hamas stressed that they will only negotiate the release of the four Israelis being held if Israel releases the prisoners that were re-arrested after they were originally released in the Shalit deal, according to Al-Akhbar.
The terrorist group insists on dealing with the possible prisoner swap as a single file, including all four Israelis. Hamas is holding the bodies of IDF soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin, Sgt. Oron Shaul and civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed. It is unknown what the medical condition of Mengistu and al-Sayed is. Hamas claims that all four of the captives are Israeli soldiers.
On Saturday, a senior Hamas source said that although Egypt and Russia have expressed willingness to help reach a prisoner exchange agreement, Hamas has still not received a “serious response” from Israel.
The source told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was engaged in “media equivocation” and has not actually moved towards reaching a prisoner exchange agreement with Hamas.
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.