Clockwise from top left: Fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, captives Hisham al-Saeed and Avera Mengistu
Clockwise from top left: Fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, captives Hisham al-Saeed and Avera Mengistu
Clockwise from top left: Fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, captives Hisham al-Saeed and Avera Mengistu

Hamas military wing members in Cairo for Israel prisoner swap talks

Fatah and Israeli delegations also in Egyptian capital as Sisi pushes for exchange that would facilitate rehabilitation of Gaza after bitter 11-day war last month; Jerusalem expecting Egypt to pressure Palestinian factions on issue

Elior Levy |
Published: 06.09.21, 15:52
A delegation of senior members of the Hamas military wing arrived in Cairo on Wednesday as part of negotiations on a possible prisoner swap between Israel and the terror group that rules Gaza.
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  • The delegation included Marwan Issa, the deputy leader of the military wing, said the UK-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Clockwise from top left: Fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, captives Hisham al-Saeed and Avera Mengistu
    Clockwise from top left: Fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, captives Hisham al-Saeed and Avera Mengistu
    Clockwise from top left: Fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, captives Hisham al-Saeed and Avera Mengistu
    The negotiations are centered on the return of the remains of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza war and two Israeli civilians believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.
    Representatives of the political wing of Hamas arrived in Cairo several days ago for talks with the rival Fatah faction and to discuss the possible prisoner swap through the Egyptian mediation.
    An Israeli security delegation was also in Cairo, with the Israelis and Palestinians in separate rooms and Egyptian mediators moving between them.
    The same method of indirect negotiations was used in talks that led to the return of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011 after five years in Hamas custody, in exchange for the release of more than 1,000 Palestinians jailed in Israel.
    Israel is maintaining its position that the release of the Israelis is a prerequisite to any ceasefire agreement in the wake of the 11-day military conflict with Gaza in May.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    פינוי הריסות בעזה
    פינוי הריסות בעזה
    A bulldozer clears rubble in Gaza following the May 2021 war, beside an image of Egyptian President Sisi who has pledged millions of dollars to rehabilitate the Strip
    (Photo: EPA)
    More than 250 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the bitter 11-day conflict, which saw thousands of rockets fired at Israeli communities and hundreds of IDF strikes on terror targets in the Strip.
    A senior Israeli official said last week that the chances of a prisoner swap were improving and that Israel was expecting a proposal to be delivered by Egypt.
    "The Egyptians understand that without a resolution of the question of MIAs and the Israeli civilians held by Hamas, there will be no widespread reconstruction of the Gaza Strip after the damage caused by Israeli strikes during the May fighting," the official said.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Yehiyeh Sinwar, right, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, hugs head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Abbas Kamel as they meet in Gaza
    Yehiyeh Sinwar, right, the top Hamas leader in Gaza, hugs head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Abbas Kamel as they meet in Gaza
    Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, right, embraces Egytpian intelligence chief Kamel Abbas during a meeting in Gaza last week
    (Photo: AP)
    The official said the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi was determined to reach a deal and that Jerusalem believed Cairo would put pressure on Hamas to make concessions in order to advance reconstruction of the Strip with the support of the international community.
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