February 26, 2024
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Israel Pursues Prisoner Swap Deal With Hamas for Abducted Soldiers

(Yona Schnitzer/TPS) Israel has sent a message to Hamas, by which they are interested in a quick prisoner swap deal in order to return the remains of Israeli soldiers Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin, whose remains have been held by Hamas in Gaza since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

In the message, which was conveyed by an Egyptian intermediate, Israel informed Hamas that there will not be a repeat of the 2011 deal to free abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners. The message also said that Israel will not release the 46 prisoners released in the Shalit deal who have since be arrested again, and will not release prisoners with blood on their hands. Unlike the Shalit deal, Israel has informed Hamas that they will not require a sign of life from their missing soldiers.

Israel is serious with its terms, the message stated, adding that if Hamas wants to move forward in negotiations, it must deal directly with Israel’s appointed negotiator, Yaron Blum.

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