Hamas denies reports about prisoner exchange with Israel

A senior Hamas member on Monday denied media reports that the Palestinian group has reached a prisoner swap agreement with Israel.

“Reports about a prisoner swap deal are untrue,” Izzat al-Rishq said in a brief statement.

Israeli newspapers also denied reports about a deal with Hamas to exchange prisoners. “There is nothing yet,” The Jerusalem Post daily said, citing a senior Israeli official.

On Sunday, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stated that a hostage exchange deal between Israel and Hamas was “imminent”.

Hamas is believed to be holding at least 239 Israelis following a cross-border attack on Oct. 7. The Palestinian group says it is ready to release the captives in return for thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

At least 13,000 Palestinians have been killed, including over 9,000 women and children, and more than 30,000 others injured in Israeli air and ground attacks since Oct. 7, according to the latest figures.

An Israeli blockade has also cut Gaza off from fuel, electricity and water supplies, and reduced aid deliveries to a small trickle.

The Israeli death toll, meanwhile, is around 1,200, according to official figures.

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