17:20 - April 18, 2020
News ID: 3471181
TEHRAN (IQNA) –  Hamas Political Bureau Chief Ismail Haniyeh said the resistance group is holding four Israeli soldiers, expressing readiness for indirect talks for a prisoner swap with the Zionist regime.


“We have four prisoners and we are ready for indirect talks,” Haniyeh said in a television interview with al-Araby TV network.

He added there have been contacts from some mediating sides about negotiations over a prisoner swap agreement.

Spokesman of Hamas armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, in Gaza Abu Obeida said in April 2016 that the group is holding four Israeli soldiers that it captured during the Tel Aviv’s regime 50-day war on the Gaza Strip in 2014.

 Times of Israel online newspaper has once referred to the four as two slain soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin as well as 29-year-old Avraham Mengistu, an Ethiopian Israeli, along with a Bedouin-Israeli citizen.

Mengistu is said to have disappeared after he “independently” entered Gaza on September 7, 2014, two weeks after the end of latest Israeli war on Gaza in the summer of 2015.

The second man, whose name has not been released, is a Bedouin Arab from the village of Hura who reportedly entered Gaza via the Erez Crossing in April 2014.

In early July 2014, Israel waged a war on the Gaza Strip. The 50-day offensive ended on August 26 with a truce that took effect after indirect negotiations in the Egyptian capital Cairo. Nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children, were killed in Israel’s onslaught. Over 11,100 others - including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people - were also injured.

Hamas launched retaliatory missile attacks against Israel, with Tel Aviv confirming that 53 Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza war. However, Hamas puts the number at around 100.

Israel and Hamas do not officially maintain direct contacts, and any deal would have to be mediated by international parties. In 2011, kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian detainees, in a deal brokered with the help of a German diplomat.




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