Reports in Lebanon said that Hamas has submitted to Israel a list of 250 terrorists that it wants released in exchange for information about Israelis held by the terror group in Gaza. The report in the Lebanon-based Al-Ahbar said that Hamas is demanding the release of all terrorists who had been previously released in the Gilad Shalit deal and had been re-arrested for terror acts.
Israel rearrested 55 such terrorists who were part of the over 1,000 released in exchange for Shalit. The others on the list are mostly Hamas terrorists who have been in Israeli prisons for many years. The report said that the deal had been brokered by a German go-between, and represents a “significant softening of Hamas’ traditional positions.”
In a statement released last week, the Prime Minister’s Office said that Israel was interested in bringing the saga of its missing soldiers and civilians to an end as soon as possible. “We call for an immediate discussion of the matter via interlocuters,” the statement said, and in response Hamas top terrorist Yahya Sinwar said the Hamas was interested in that as well. “We may agree to a partial concession on the prisoners we are holding if Israel agrees to release elderly, ill, and female prisoners as a humanitarian gesture,” Sinwar said.
Hamas is believed to be holding four Israelis: the remains of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, Hy”d, as well as civilians Avram Mengistu and Hisham Shabin a-Seid.