Hamas denies progress on prisoner swap deal with Israel

Hamas denies progress on prisoner swap deal with Israel
2 min read
20 February, 2022
The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas said on Sunday that there has been no progress in the prisoner swap deal with Israel.
At least 4,650 Palestinians are held by Israel, according to Palestinian estimates [Getty]

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Sunday said there was "no progress" in the prisoner swap deal with Israel.

Zaher Jabarin, a senior official of the movement, said in a press statement that "Israel does not take any serious steps in the prisoner swap deal."

Jabarin’s remarks came in response to allegations made by Knesset Member Emilie Haya Moatti, who told Israeli media that "indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israeli regarding the supposed swap deal have witnessed progress".

The MK did not offer further information, stating it was a "sensitive and confidential issue".

"Such statements that are issued from time to time aiming at preventing the families of arrested Israeli soldiers from moving to pressure their government to release their sons," Jabarin said, adding that there was anger in Israeli "due to lack of progress in resolving this file".

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Hamas, which rules Gaza, holds four Israelis captive, including two soldiers captured during the Israeli war on the territory in the summer of 2014. The other two are Israeli civilians who have entered Gaza under unclear circumstances.

The Palestinian group, which has not disclosed information about the conditions of the four Israeli hostages, demands the release of Palestinians in Israeli prisons in exchange for Israelis in captivity.

At least 4,650 Palestinians are held by Israel, according to Palestinian estimates.