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Report: Hamas stepping up attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips

Hamas has significantly stepped up its plans to kidnap Israeli soldiers with the aim of using them as additional bargaining chips in a potential prisoner swap deal, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

The report, which comes a day after the Palestinian terror group published footage of Israeli civilian captive Avera Mengistu, says that Hamas is growing increasingly desperate as it realizes it has few bargaining chips in the long-held indirect talks on freeing Mengistu, fellow civilian Hisham al-Sayed and the remains of two IDF soldiers held in Gaza.

Negotiations have reportedly been frozen as Israel deems Hamas’s demand regarding the release of Palestinian terror convicts in Israeli jails as a non-starter.

Kan says Hamas is willing to accept the consequences of a kidnapping attempt — which would likely draw a devastating response from Israel — and could gamble on getting extra bargaining chips that will yield greater concessions from Israel, boosting its beleaguered status among the Gazan public.

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