Netanyahu: Israel Won’t Return Dead Hamas Terrorists as ‘Free Gift’

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -
Rescue workers and a member of Palestinian security forces loyal to Hamas seen while searching for missing or dead terrorists after Israel blew up a cross-border tunnel, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, last Friday. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says Israel will not return the bodies of five Palestinian terrorists killed last week in a tunnel demolition as a “free gift.”

The comment implied that Israel will hold on to the bodies until Hamas terrorists agree to return the remains of two soldiers killed in a 2014 war, as well as two live Israeli civilians believed held in the Gaza Strip.

“We will bring our boys home. There are no free gifts,” Netanyahu said Monday.

Israel announced Sunday that it was holding the remains of five terrorists killed last week when it destroyed a tunnel running from Gaza into Israel.

The family of Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, one of the fallen soldiers, earlier urged the government not to return the terrorists’ bodies.