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Hamas Source: Prisoners Swap Deal with Israel Suspended | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Soldiers from the Egyptian army escort a bus carrying Palestinian prisoners released from Israel, as part of a prisoners exchange deal, outside the Egyptian Rafah crossing Reuters

Ramallah – A source from Hamas movement said that prisoners’ swap deal with Israel is currently suspended due to the lack of interaction from the Israeli part regarding Hamas conditions. “The file is pending now — our conditions are clear and did not change.

All the captivates of Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange who were rearrested by Israel should be released,” the source told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He emphasized that discussing a new prisoners’ swap deal is unlikely without complying with Hamas conditions and denied Egypt hinting on the topic during the negotiations, held in Cairo two weeks before, whether with Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh or other officials in Qassam Brigades.

A Hamas security delegation met officials from the Egyptian intelligence in Cairo last week. The two delegations discussed the Egyptian demand to hand out the wanted in Gaza. “Hamas stressed the importance of Egypt and maintaining its security but handing out the wanted is unlikely,” added the source.

Talks covered 15 wanted — some of them are extremists and activists in Qassam. Egypt claims that they contributed or participated in events of Sinai.

For its part, Hamas is considering some alternative options that can be suggested on Egypt instead of handing out the wanted.

“Hamas rejected the Israeli offer to exchange one Israeli detainee for one Palestinian prisoner. Hamas wants to seal a comprehensive deal or nothing at all,” said another source from Hamas.

In a sign that Hamas is hiding facts that grant it additional power in any future negotiations, senior member of Hamas in Gaza Ahmad Bahar stated “the occupation government will have no other choice but to fulfil the Palestinian resistance conditions to carry out a new prisoners’ exchange deal.”