Hamas rules out captive swap deal until end of war
A representative of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has said there will be no new captive swap deal with Israel until the genocidal aggression against the besieged territory comes to an end.
In a press briefing in
Beirut on Monday, Osama Hamdan, Hamas representative in Lebanon and also a
member of the group’s politburo dismissed reports that said Israel is ready to
resume contact with mediators for the possible release of the remaining Israeli
captives held in Gaza.
“There will be no agreement on
the exchange of more captives for prisoners before the onslaught [against Gaza]
ceases. The Israeli media reports about the possibility of a new prisoner swap [with
Hamas] are meant to mislead the public opinion in the face of increasing
domestic discontent,” Hamdan said.
“No compromise is acceptable over
the blood of fallen Palestinians. [Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu
is trying to escape from the regime’s internal conflicts, especially the crisis
with the families of the captives held in Gaza.”
Earlier on Monday, Israel’s
Channel 12 television channel reported that the new prisoner exchange
deal would be carried out within the framework of a truce, and would include
women still in captivity, patients, the wounded, and elderly people.
It added that Israeli officials
believe that the chances of reaching a new prisoner swap deal with Hamas are
not likely next week, but Israel still believes in opening a new path.
Since November 24, Hamas
exchanged 110 captives, including 80 Israelis, for 240 Palestinians illegally
abducted by the regime and kept in Israeli jails during a 7-day pause in the
The truce, meditated by Qatar and
Egypt, also allowed the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid into Gaza
after weeks of Israeli attacks on the territory.
Israeli sources say Hamas still
holds 137 captives after it carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm on October 7 in
the occupied territories, during which some 1,200 Israeli settlers and military
forces were also killed.
repeatedly said that talks over Israeli soldiers being kept in Gaza will be
held at a later stage.
A spokesman of Hamas’s military
unit, who is known by his nom de guerre Abu Obeida, said on Sunday that the
only way for the group to release Israeli captives alive is for the Israelis
and their supporters to accept its conditions, including the release of
“Neither the fascist enemy and
its arrogant leadership... nor its supporters... can take their prisoners alive
without an exchange and negotiation and meeting the demands of the resistance,”
Abu Obeida said.
Hamas launched the surprise
Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli
regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against
Palestinians. Since then Israel has begun an unprecedented bombing campaign of
Gaza and targeted civilians in the Strip.
The Israeli aggression has so far
killed at least 18,205 Palestinians, most of them women and children, and
wounded 49,645 others.
Israel has also imposed a
“complete siege” on the territory, cutting off fuel, electricity, food,
and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.