Hamas warns of ‘surprise’ to obtain release of Palestinian prisoners


GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A spokesperson for the Hamas movement’s military wing said on Tuesday that Israel would be made to release Palestinian prisoners as part of a future deal, during a speech commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Gilad Shalit deal.In 2006, Gaza militants captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and held him for five years before freeing him in 2011 in exchange for the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.The first phase of the Shalit prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel was carried out on Oct. 18, 2011, when Israel released 477 Palestinian detainees in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held captive by Hamas for five years.The deal was completed in December 2011, when 550 further Palestinian detainees were released from Israeli prisons.However, since their release, Israel has initiated mass detention campaigns to bring hundreds of former prisoners released in the exchange back into Israeli custody, in violation of the agreement.Abu Obeida, a spokesperson for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said on Tuesday that the Israel was “evading paying for a new deal,” but that it would “pay,” willingly or not, in any new exchange deal.He added that the world, the Palestinian people, and Palestinian prisoners would be surprised “when the time comes for the Brigades to reveal the entire truth on what the resistance has in store to obtain the freedom of prisoners.”Hamas has repeatedly insisted that Israel must release all prisoners who were freed as part of the Shalit deal but have since been redetained, before starting talks of a new prisoner swap deal.Hamas claims to hold the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed during the 2014 war in Gaza, and their release is at the center of prisoner negotiations.Israeli citizens Avera Mengistu and Bedouin Hisham al-Sayed are also believed to be alive and held captive by Hamas in Gaza.According to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, some 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli custody as of August.

(Source / 19.10.2016)



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