Hamas Announces New Condition for Prisoner Swap Deal
GAZA STRIP (Dispatches) – The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas based in the Gaza Strip says that it will only enter into negotiations with the Zionist regime once all those who were agreed to be released through the 2011 prisoner swap deal are out of jail.
Abdulatif al-Qanoua, spokesperson for Hamas movement, said that no deal will be reached with the Zionist regime unless it frees those it had detained again three years after the swap deal over the Zionist trooper Gilad Shalit, who was caught in southern Gaza in 2006.
"Freeing the 60 currently imprisoned Palestinians who were released as part of the Shalit deal is an essential condition to start talks over a new deal,” said al-Qanoua during a protest near the International Red Cross Society office in Gaza.
"Israel has not respected the agreement after it re-detained the Palestinians it had released in the deal,” he said, urging Egypt to pressure the Zionist regime for their release.
In October 2011, Egypt brokered a prisoner swap deal between the occupying regime and Hamas, where the regime handed over 1,028 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Shalit.
However, the regime imprisoned at least 70 Palestinians who had been released as part of the deal in 2014.
The Zionist regime believes that two Israelis, Avera Mengistu and Hisham a-Seid, who disappeared after willingly crossing into Gaza, are kept in the besieged Palestinian enclave.
In addition, Hamas is believed to hold the remains of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, two troopers killed during the Zionist regime’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip in 2014.
Al-Qanoua’s remarks came one day after Zionist war minister Benny Gantz instructed the army to use the remains of Palestinians withheld in the occupied territories as "bargaining chip” for captured Zionists in Gaza.