Report: Hamas Willing to Negotiate Prisoner Exchange in Wake of Coronavirus

YERUSHALAYIM -
Hamas Iran
Hamas chief Yehiya Sinwar. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The Hamas terror group has in recent days indicated willingness to negotiate a prisoner exchange deal with Israel due to the coronavirus outbreak, sources said Sunday.

The group reportedly refuses to call the potential exchange a “deal,” but rather a “humanitarian initiative” that would see Israeli civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed – held captive by Hamas forces – be freed in exchange for Palestinian elderly prisoners currently serving time in Israel’s jails.

The report in the Al Hayat Al Jadeed newspaper comes after Hamas chief Yehiya Sinwar told the Al-Aqsa network last week that the terror group will reduce its demands in negotiations if elderly, women and child prisoners are released from Israeli prisons in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sources told Al Hayat Al Jadeed that Israel had asked Egyptian mediators to talk to the Hamas leadership and clarify Sinwar’s statements.