Palestinian sources on Sunday told Turkish news agency Anatolia that Israel is holding the bodies of two Hamas field commanders missing since the end of the 50-day conflict in Gaza during the summer.
According to the sources, Anatolia said, the fate of the two bodies, both belonging to members of Hamas' military wing, was uncovered after a month-long intensive investigation.
The Palestinian sources named the Hamas men as Basel Abu al-Naja, and Ibrahim al-Amur, saying they were both members of the Hamas elite forces, the news agency said.
The claim comes amid efforts by Israel to negotiate with Hamas for the return of the bodies of two its soldiers, both declared fallen in action by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge.
The remains of Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul are believed to be in the possession of Hamas.
According to the report, Hamas received the information on the two bodies from one of its fighters, who was purportedly captured during the fighting, and is now in an Israeli prison.
The prisoner was taken to Israel after a battle near the town of al-Fhari, east of Khan Younis. His cell of fighters was apparently staking out an IDF force from inside a house, and the Israeli troops shelled the house in the ensuing battle. The prisoner reported back that the two Hamas commanders had been killed in the blast. However, no bodies have been found at the site.
Anatolia said that a delegation from the Hamas military wing had recently visited the families of the missing men, and informed them of the findings of the investigation. Apparently the investigation included digging by bulldozers in an effort to locate the bodies - but to no avail.