Hamas, Israel in Egypt for prisoner release discussions

Hamas, Israel in Egypt for mediated discussions on prisoner release
2 min read
Hamas insiders said the group's military second-in-command, Marwan Isa, plus high-level figure Rawhi Mushtaha are in Egypt to represent the Islamist faction.
The Palestinian-Islamic militant faction has two Israelis prisoner [AFP/Getty]

Egypt is hosting representatives from Hamas and Israel, acting as an intermediary for the two parties as they discuss the release of Israeli prisoners and dead soldiers.

Hamas insiders informed Haaretz that its representatives are in the Egyptian capital after this was suggested by Cairo's intelligence.

They explained that the group's military second-in-command, Marwan Isa, plus high-level figure Rawhi Mushtaha are there on its behalf.

The insiders told the Israeli daily there have not yet been any significant developments.

The Palestinian faction has two Israelis prisoner, Avera Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed.

Neither of the men is in the military, though Hamas also has the corpses of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.

Shaul and Goldin both died during a serious escalation in Gaza in 2014.

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Gaza's rulers wish to keep the matter of the prisoners and dead soldiers apart from discussions relating to rebuilding efforts in the Strip, Haaretz reported.

The Palestinian enclave was heavily bombed during a deadly 11-day campaign carried out by Israel last month, while Hamas and other militants fired rockets at Israel.

In that time, 260 Palestinians were killed and houses, media buildings and even hospitals were hit.

In Israel, rocket fire from Gaza militant groups caused 13 deaths.

Last September, Israel decided to withhold the bodies of any Palestinian fighters killed in an anti-Israel attack from their families.

Palestinian legal NGO Adalah described this as "extreme, barbaric" and "illegal".