New Israel-Hamas Prisoner Swap Appears Less Likely
Egyptian intelligence officials overseeing talks between Israel and the Gaza Strip-based Hamas terrorist organization are signaling a decreasing sense of completing their mission. The Egyptians are seeking a deal that would repatriate two Israeli citizens and the bodies of two soldiers killed in action during Israel’s 2014 Cast Lead military incursion. According to reports in Arab media, the Israelis have refused to participate in another lopsided exchange along the lines of the release of soldier Gilad Shalit, for whom more than 1,000 security prisoners, jailed for violent acts, were set free, many to be recaptured after returning to their terror cells. The reported demand by Hamas this time is 1,000 security prisoners plus, according to some reports, freedom for the six prisoners who staged a dramatic Hollywood-style jailbreak from a maximum-security prison in the north of Israel. All six were recaptured within two weeks but rapidly became “living legends” to many in the pro-Palestinian world.