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Hamas willing to hold ‘immediate negotiations’ with Israel on prisoner swap

Hamas Gaza governor Yahya Sinwar says the terror group is ready for “immediate negotiations” to reach a prisoner exchange with Israel.

Sinwar makes the comments following a meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel.

“The matter of prisoner exchanges saw some movement during the past period, but it came to a halt due to what [Israel] went through,” Sinwar says.

Yahya Sinwar (L), Hamas’ political chief in Gaza, embraces General Abbas Kamel (R), Egypt’s intelligence chief, as the latter arrives for a meeting with leaders of Hamas in Gaza City on May 31, 2021. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Hamas holds two Israeli civilians captive — Hisham al-Sayed and Avner Mengistu — as well as the bodies of two Israeli soldiers — Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.

Israeli officials have said they will condition allowing the reconstruction of Gaza to go forward on progress in reaching a deal with Hamas that secures the return of the two captives and the two bodies.

Hamas has consistently said it rejects tying rebuilding Gaza after the recent hostilities to a deal with Israel on the matter.

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