Israel, Hamas Fail to Agree on Prisoner Exchange Deal during Indirect Talks in Cairo

Palestinians hold a vigil in Gaza City demanding protection for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. (Photo: Via Twitter)

Egyptian mediators have been unable to bring Israeli and Hamas representatives closer during indirect talks regarding a potential prisoner exchange deal, Israeli sources reported today.

According to Arab48.com, the Israeli Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv reported an Israeli source as saying that the two sides have failed to reach a breakthrough regarding the prisoner swap.

Al-Arabiya TV in Dubai reported on Wednesday that Israel refused Hamas’s demand to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for the release of the four Israelis held by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza.

The four Israelis, two of whom are soldiers, were captured during the 51-day Israeli offensive against the besieged Strip in 2014. More than 2,260 Palestinians were killed, and more than 11,000 others were wounded.

On Sunday, senior Hamas officials from Gaza and overseas arrived in Cairo for meetings with Egyptian intelligence officials, including intelligence head Abbas Kamel, to discuss the issue of the prisoner swap and the easing of the 15-year Israeli siege of Gaza.

Israel’s Ynet News reported a source with knowledge of the talks as saying that the invitation for the Hamas leadership to go to Cairo was probably intended to put the movement under pressure to compromise on the swap.

Maariv reiterated that there is no breakthrough on the issues currently on the table in Cairo. It pointed out that the Egyptian mediators “are exerting a lot of effort to consolidate the ceasefire in Gaza.”

The Egyptians are also said to be working towards an easing of the siege and an increase in the amount of goods entering Gaza through the Rafah Crossing.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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