Monday, February 26, 2024

Hamas refuses Israel’s claims over ‘discussion of prisoner swap’

Hamas has refuted Israel's claims that the Palestinian group and Israel have engaged in talks over prisoner exchange.

“There is no discussion of prisoner exchange before stopping the aggression as Israel propagates,” Osama Hamdan, senior Hamas’ representative in Lebanon, said on Friday.

“The occupation is attempting to leak ideas that suit its narrative and are not true to alleviate internal pressure,” he added.

Gaza’s resistance movements took hundreds captive during an operation they staged against the occupied territories, dubbed Operation al-Aqsa Storm, on October 7.

The regime began taking the coastal sliver under an unrelenting genocidal war following the operation.

At least 21,500 people, mostly women and children, have been killed during the Israeli military campaign so far.

During a Qatari- and Egyptian-mediated temporary ceasefire that took effect earlier during the war, Israel released 240 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 105 people, who were released by Hamas.

Hamdan’s remarks did not mark the first time, when Hamas insists on complete cessation of the Israeli onslaught before another exchange could take place.

“There is no concrete idea, but the backbone is a complete and comprehensive cessation of aggression,” he noted, asserting, “We possess the tools and capabilities to force the imposition of a ceasefire.”

“The only way out of the Israeli impasse is to stop the aggression and make concessions.”

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