Report: Qatar Brokering Terrorist Prisoner Deal Between Israel and Hamas

Hamas terrorists at an anti-Israel rally in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafiach in February, 2016. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM - On Wednesday, a PA newspaper reported that Qatar has been brokering a deal between Israel and Hamas to release terrorists in return for the remains of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, and the return of Avraham Mengistu, another soldier missing in Gaza and presumed to be alive. According to the report, which was based on Hamas sources, the terror group is demanding the rerelease of terrorists who were released in the deal that brought Gilad Shalit home.

Over 1,000 terrorists were released to free Shalit in 2014, and several hundred have been rearrested on terror charges since then. Israel has resisted letting these terrorists go and has refused to include them in deals for the release of the remains of Shaul and Goldin. However, the report said that Israel would agree to the condition if the rereleased terrorists went to another country, like Qatar, and stayed there. Hamas refuses to accept this demand. Israeli officials have not commented on the report.

Overnight Tuesday, IDF soldiers arrested the Palestinian Authority governor of Tul Karem, PA sources said. The arrest was made in Shechem. According to a report on Israel Radio, the governor was also a top officer in the PA security force. The reason for his arrest was not disclosed. The IDF did not comment on the story.

Also overnight, security officials said they arrested 24 wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.