Israel has decided not to agree for a partial prisoner swap with Hamas in the wake of the video release of an Israeli captive hooked up to oxygen in Gaza, sources said Wednesday.
Hamas on Tuesday released a video of Hisham al-Sayed lying in a bed with an oxygen mask on his face. A television seen in the room was broadcasting pictures of a conference held this week in Qatar. Al-Sayed crossed into Gaza on his own volition in 2015. His family claimed he was mentally ill.
Sources told Ynet that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who is set to become an interim premier later this week, have decided not to agree to a partial deal proposed by Hamas.
The Lebanese Al Mayadeen channel reported earlier that Hamas offered to exchange Al-Sayed for sick Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
According to the Lebanese report, Hamas told Egyptian negotiators visiting Gaza that they were dropping their demand that Israel will free prisoners who were involved in terror acts resulting in the death of Israelis and those arrested after being released in an earlier prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit in 2011.
According to sources, Israel wants the agreement to include Avera Mengistu, who has been held in Gaza since 2014, as well as the bodies of soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were killed in Operation Protective Edge.
The sources added Israel sees the publication of the video as an attempt by Hamas to shake up the stalled prisoner swap deal negotiations, and it is estimated the terror organization published the video to try and rid itself of responsibility for prisoner's deteriorating health.
Israel, however, said Hamas is directly responsible for the health of the prisoner. "Hisham al-Sayed is not a soldier, but a mentally ill Israeli citizen who crossed the border into the Gaza Strip," said the official statement.