Israel reportedly sends Hamas new proposal for prisoner swap

Terror group yet to respond to outline, said to have been conveyed to it via a third party several weeks ago

Members of Hamas's Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Members of Hamas's Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Israel recently sent the Hamas terror group a new proposal for a prisoner swap and is awaiting the terror group’s response, according to a Wednesday report.

The proposal was conveyed via a third party at some point over the last several weeks, according to the Ynet news site, which cited “a source with knowledge of the details.”

The report did not provide any additional information about the outline.

The Gaza-based group late last month said that a precondition for any prisoner swap deal with Israel was the release of dozens of terror convicts cut loose in a 2011 exchange and since rearrested.

Under the 2011 deal with Hamas, Israel released 1,027 Palestinian terror convicts in exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been kidnapped in 2006.

Clockwise from top left: Avera Mengistu, Hisham al-Sayed, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul. (Flash 90/Times of Israel)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared last Thursday that Israel is still working to retrieve the bodies of two servicemen killed in the Gaza Strip six years ago, and that his government would not miss “a window of opportunity” to bring them home.

His comments, delivered by video during a ceremony at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl commemorating the sixth anniversary of 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, were harshly panned by Simcha Goldin, whose son Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was killed during the conflict.

Hamas is currently holding the bodies of Goldin and Oron Shaul, who was also killed in 2014, as well as civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, two Israelis who entered Gaza of their own accord.

“We are here to remember six years of continuing neglect and the prime minister decided not to meet us this year, because he has nothing to tell us,” declared Goldin, who has long been critical of Netanyahu.

Families of victims did not attend the official state ceremony, whose attendance was limited because of coronavirus-related health concerns. As a result, Goldin and other relatives erected a protest tent outside the venue.

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