Hamas delivered Israel a list of 250 Palestinian prisoners it seeks to release from Israeli jails, as indirect negotiations for a prisoner exchange deal continue, Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported on Tuesday.
The list includes old and sick prisoners, as well as mionrs and women. According to some reports, they would be released in exchange for information on Israeli citizens held in the Gaza Strip, as the first stage of the proposed deal.
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Hamas is said to hold Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, and the remains of the bodies of Israeli soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed during the Israeli army's opertaion in Gaza in 2014.
According to Tuesday's report, Egyptian mediators stepped up efforts to promote negotiations, but a Hamas official in Gaza was quoted as saying Israel’s response remains "tepid."
Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem denied in an interview to Nazareth Radio that the organization seeks to link humanitarian aid, and specifically the delivery of ventilators to hospitals in the Strip as part of the organization's coronavirus response, to the deal currently being negotiated.
Qassem said there is no relation between the two issues, adding that Israel, as well as the international community, are responsible for Gaza’s health system.
Qassem added that Hamas stands by the proposal laid out by the organization’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, that old and sick prisoners would be release by Israel in the first stage of the deal.