Hamas: No More Prisoner Exchanges Until Complete End of Israeli War
Story Code : 1099974
"There are now no negotiations [on the issue of prisoners], and the official and final position of the Hamas movement and the resistance is that there will be no exchanges until the Zionist terrorist aggression [against Gaza] ends completely and finally," Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy head of the Hamas Political Bureau, was quoted by Palestinian media as saying in an interview with Al Jazeera news channel on Saturday.
The two sides exchanged hundreds of prisoners during a seven-day truce agreement, which was mediated by Egypt and Qatar and ended on Friday.
The truce marked a lull in an all-out Israeli aggression on the besieged territory, which began on October 7. The regime resumed its military onslaught after the deal expired.
More than 15,200 people have so far been killed in Gaza with over 40,000 people wounded. According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 70 percent of victims of Israeli strikes on the blockaded territory are women and children.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Arouri said since the beginning of the war, Hamas had set no conditions for releasing foreign captives or women and children because the movement did not consider them as its targets.
The Hamas official said the movement is prepared to exchange the bodies of Palestinian martyrs with those of Israeli captives, adding, however, that "we need time to exhume the bodies of the Zionist prisoners who were killed by the occupation in its raids on our people in Gaza."
The Israeli regime, he added, believed that it could force the resistance to release the rest of the captives by resuming the war, "but our official position is that any exchange deal will [only] be discussed after the end of the war."
The Palestinian official noted, "We said from day one that the price for releasing the Zionist prisoners is the liberation of all our prisoners."
"We are absolutely confident that the occupation will fail to take control of the Gaza Strip," he said.