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13 April 2020 - 23:31
News ID: 449988
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A senior official with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has categorically dismissed as “untrue” reports that it will soon reach a deal to swap prisoners with Israel.

RNA - Moussa Dodin, member of Hamas’ political bureau, made the comment in a press release on Monday and added that the resistance movement had not yet seen any serious steps on the part of the Israeli regime in dealing with the issue of exchanging inmates.

Dodin, however, said Hamas would welcome any mediation efforts to pave the way for a prisoner swap, and renewed an initiative recently made by Yahya Sinwar, the movement’s leader in the besieged Gaza Strip, about making some concessions on a new deal on the condition that Tel Aviv would take practical steps on the issue.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced last week that the regime was interested in “immediate” indirect prisoner exchange negotiations with the resistance movement, which runs Gaza.

The office said the exchange sought to enable the release of two Israelis and the remains of two soldiers reportedly held by Hamas. The two Israeli soldiers were killed during Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza, which killed 2,310 Palestinians.

Israel keeps thousands of Palestinians behind bars in dire conditions despite the new coronavirus outbreak, which has seen many international rights organizations campaigning for the release of the inmates amid the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Israel linked any future coronavirus-linked aid to Gaza on the prisoner exchange deal.

Hamas has on numerous occasions lambasted the difficult incarceration and humanitarian conditions of Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons.

With the global spread of the new coronavirus, the movement has stressed the necessity of protecting the Palestinian prisoners against the flu-like pathogen and of pressuring Tel Aviv to provide what was necessary for their safety and take full responsibility for their lives.

The new coronavirus, a respiratory disease known as the COVID-19, was transmitted from wildlife to people in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has affected 209 countries and territories across the globe. It has so far infected more than 1.84 million people and killed over 114,000 others.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak a global pandemic.

The Palestinians have reported about 308 coronavirus cases and two fatalities. Israel’s official figures show that more than 11,000 people have tested positive for the disease and 110 others have died.

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